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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Mostly Complete Copy of Metropolis Found!

One more old movie post.

Big chunks of Fritz Lang's Metropolis, an enduring classic of the silent era and one of my favorite movies have been missing for decades. A complete version of the film has not been seen since the Twentys. A recently a restored version of what was left had been released but was still missing almost 25% of the movie. But now an almost complete print has been discovered in Argentina.

The original version was a commercial dud in Germany and the studio made drastic cuts for the US market and some of the cut scenes have been lost for 80 years. The print found in Argentina is said to be missing only one short scene from Lang's original cut.

Metropolis, released in 1927, is still one of the most expensive films ever made and pioneered many special effects. German film historians are working to restore the new footage and complete the task of recreating the original release. I'll have to buy yet one more copy, I think I'll hold out for HiDef this time.

Some related articles:

It is the cinematic equivalent of finding a new book of the Bible or a new play by Sophocles.
"Metropolis, Fritz Lang’s most famous film, can be seen through new eyes.”

The rhythm of the film has been restored.

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