YMMV: Metropolis

Metropolis by Fritz Lang:

  • Adaptation Displacement:
    • The title of this page used to refer to Osamu Tezuka's Metropolis.
    • Just about every sci-fi film made in the past 80 years references this movie.
    • Yep, there is a book. It was written by the director's wife at the time.
  • Awesome Music: The original reconstructed soundtrack by Gottfried Huppertz; "Cage of Freedom" from the Moroder version.
  • Better on DVD: Way better, especially now that this movie has been found nearly complete and has been released on DVD and Blu-Ray
  • Broken Base: Opinions on the Moroder version are sharply divided, to say the least.
    • The False Maria's striptease. Is it genuinly erotic, too ridiculous to be taken seriously, a prime example of Nightmare Fuel, or a combination of all of the above?
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Rotwang's robot who only gets a couple minutes of screentime has become the film's unofficial symbol in pop culture. It's the only character shown on the film's most famous poster. Osamu Tezuka's version was inspired by nothing other than that famous image. Of course, technically, the Maria Machine actually has a ton of screentime, just not in that form.
    • In the new restoration, the thin man.
    • Rotwang, for being a classic evil and hammy Mad Scientist with a neat cybernetic hand and a surprisingly sad backstory.
  • Evil Is Sexy: The False Maria. She is an city-destroying robotic stripper based on the Whore of Babylon, so this is basically a given.
  • Faux Symbolism: The whole 1920s film.
    • Rule of Symbolism, for the most part. You have crucifixion imagery, giant clock face, personified Whore of Babylon, retelling of the Tower of Babel story, animated gargoyles personifying Death and the Seven Deadly Sins, a hidden church in catacombs, an inverted pentagram, talk about "brothers and sisters", the machine as Moloch...
    • The Moroder lyrics add a bunch more, with Orwellian shout outs (the edition was timed to release in 1984), references to "infinite circles of snakes eating their own tails" and the like.
  • Fetish Retardant: Several viewers have felt that the scene where the False Maria dances around while wearing practically nothing is alot less sexier than it should be due to Brigette Helm's rather stiff and mechanical dance moves. They either turn the scene into Narm, or makes it terrifying by plunching it deep down into The Uncanny Valley. Though considering that she is an evil robot, the latter reaction might very well be exactly what Lang was going for.
  • Ho Yay: Freder is a very physical person. Especially with Josaphat and 11811. On the other hand, it's very firmly established that he loves Maria...
  • Jerkass Woobie: Joh Fredersen. On one hand, he is the creator and ruler of an oppressive dystopia and the initiator of a kidnapping and a False Flag Operation. However, it is also shown that he truly cares about his son and still mourns his dead wife, and Alfred Abel's performance makes him come off as sympathic and rather tragic as well as cold and ruthless.
  • Macekre: If you compare the 1928 American release to the original film — editing by chainsaw, and Channing Pollock boasting about having rewritten the whole thing.
  • Misaimed Fandom: Partly. Adolf Hitler said Metropolis was one of his favorite films. The writer, Thea von Harbou, was a dedicated Nazi. The director, her husband Fritz Lang, divorced her and moved to Hollywood soon after the Nazi rise to power. To a normal person the movie certainly doesn't have anything supporting the Nazi ideology, unless you take extreme liberties at interpreting the Aesop. It's directed against all forms of tyranny, from ruthless capitalism to mob rule. However, in fascist and Nazi wishful thinking fascism and later nazism had bridged the gap between worker and capitalist renouncing on one hand exploitation and decadence and mob rule and blind lust for destruction on they other. In their eyes this film is a tribute to or a prophecy of that great achievement.
  • Narm/Anvilicious: The ending. Even Fritz Lang admitted he didn't like it in an interview he gave several decades later. In an essay that is available in the booklet of the Masters of Cinema DVD, Jonathan Rosenbaum has this to say: "one of the lamest endings of any great film I can think of".
  • Nightmare Fuel: Evil!Maria is a sterling example of this. Her movements, her expressions, everything about her scream so horribly that this is something that looks human but isn't.
    • Her death scene is especially creepy. She laughs maniacally for several minutes as she is burned alive, all the while twisting around in a non-human, demonic fashion.
  • Signature Scene: The robot being created, of course.
    • The scene where Freder takes a taxi to his fathers office might count too. It's the first time the viewer gets a good look at the rich people's city, and it looks glorious, with lots of Scenery Porn.
  • Uncanny Valley: An invoked example will the robot Maria, who despite looking human moves in a twitchy, insect like way and has odd facial expressions, to convey how different she is from a person.
  • Vindicated by History: When it was first released it was a huge flop that nearly bankrupted Ufa, the studio that produced it. Now, it's considered the forerunner to all science fiction films ever. Including (and especially) Star Wars.

Metropolis by Osamu Tezuka:

  • Faux Symbolism: There's a nice bit where Tima is standing on the roof in a beam of sunlight, presumably recharging. A bird lands on her shoulder. They cut to another viewpoint, and she looks exactly like an angel.