Fritz Lang Metropolis Film – Best Classic Sci Fi Movie

Metropolis Film is one of the best science fiction movies ever created. It constantly ranks in the top 10 on the best sci fi movies lists.

Created in 1927 by eminent German filmmaker, Fritz Lang, it is considered one of the best and most expensive silent films and one of the most influential sci-fi movies in history.

Fritz Lang’s movie Metropolis (1927) is a prime example of German expressionist films and German classic movies. It is also rumoured to have been favoured by Adolf Hitler.

Fritz Lang Metropolis Film (1927) Graffiti

Fritz Lang Metropolis Film – Plot Teaser

Sometime in the future, the city of Metropolis is sharply divided into two classes: the workers who live below and the ruling class above. A young man, son of the creator of Metropolis, falls in love with young virtuous Maria from below.

Maria preaches to the oppressed workers that time will come when the world will no longer be segregated. Unhappy with Maria’s message, the creator of Metropolis wants to compromise her.

He asks his most brilliant scientist to create a mechanical woman who would look like Maria and would obey creator’s commands.

Fritz Lang Metropolis Film – Movie Ratings


Rotten Tomatoes


Somewhat like it

99% critics reviews

89% viewers reviews

8.4/10 critics and viewers movie reviews


98/100 critics reviews

Fritz Lang Metropolis Film – Movie Review

Before 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Star Wars (1977) and Blade Runner (1982), there was Metropolis (1927) film – the original science fiction mega blockbuster.

Similar to later best science fiction movies, Metropolis movie was created to impress. It was the most expensive film to date and took over a year to film. One of the best classic sci fi movies involved close to 30,000 in supporting cast (of who over a thousand volunteered to shave their heads for one sequence). Special effects were meticulously created, sometimes requiring weeks of work for mere 30 seconds of on-screen footage.

Fritz Lang recalled: “Metropolis was born from my first sight of New York skyscrapers in October 1924”. Concept design of one of the best classic science fiction movies was created by Erich Kettelhut. He designed famous decorations, including the Tower of Babylon.

The Tower of Babel set design by Erich Kettelhut

Fritz Lang Metropolis Film (1927) - Tower of Babel Set Design

The Tower of Babel in Metropolis film

Fritz Lang Metropolis Film (1927) - Tower of Babel

Unlike later sci fi films, special effects were created during filming, and not during editing or post-production. In Metropolis, Fritz Lang relied heavily on numerous miniature models, using mirrors and exposing the same film several times.

While special effects were definitely the focal point of the movie, Brigitte Helm is the most memorable character in this classic sci fi movie. Aged 19 at the time, it was her first film. The iconic costume of the mechanical woman was moulded to fit Brigitte Helm’s body perfectly. It was very uncomfortable and consisted of several parts, similar to the medieval armour.

Mechanic Woman in Metropolis Film

Fritz Lang Metropolis Film (1927) - Mechanic Woman Robot

Brigitte Helm in Costume

Fritz Lang Metropolis Film (1927) - Brigitte Helm

When the German sci fi film was released, some critics were impressed, others weren't Audiences agreed that in Metropolis Fritz Lang created stunning visuals while the story was too simplistic. Probably one of the most ardent and famous critics was the legendary sci fi writer of The War of The Worlds, H.G. Wells, who called it “the silliest film”.

Despite apparent communist and socialist tendencies in the movie, German minister of propaganda, Joseph Goebbells, was so impressed with the Metropolis 1927 film that in 1933 he offered Fritz Lang the position of the chief German filmmaker. Fritz Lang, who was Jewish and against the fascist regime, immediately fled Germany.

In his later years Fritz Lang expressed dislike for his sci-fi movie Metropolis.

Unfortunately, there is no known full version of one of the best sci fi movies, which was originally over 3 hours long. The newest version, restored in 2010 excludes several scenes. Fritz Lang once said about his sci film Metropolis (1927): “Why are you so interested in a picture which no longer exists?”

Fritz Lang Metropolis Film – Movie Recommendation

Metropolis could be called the father of modern science fiction movies. It inspired Gotham City of the Batman movies and Los Angeles in Blade Runner. The story is naïve, but visually, it is not only one of the best sci fi movies, but also one of the most stunning films ever.

If you are not used to watching silent films, exaggerated emotions and movements of actors might seem absurd at times. However, allow yourself to me mesmerized by visuals that are almost 90 years old and are still compelling.

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