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Metropolis is a 1927 German expressionist science-fiction film directed by Fritz Lang. The film was written by Lang and his wife Thea Von Harbou, and starred Brigitte Helm, Gustav Fröhlich, Alfred Abel and Rudolf Klein-Rogge. A silent film, it was produced in the Babelsberg Studios by UFA.
Metropolis is regarded as a pioneer work of science fiction movies, being the first feature length movie of the genre.
Made in Germany during the Weimar Period, Metropolis is set in a futuristic urban dystopia, and follows the attempts of Freder, the wealthy son of the city's ruler, and Maria, whose background is not fully explained in the film, to overcome the vast gulf separating the classist nature of their city. Metropolis was filmed in 1925, at a cost of approximately five million Reichsmarks. Thus, it was the most expensive film ever released up to that point.
The film was met with a mixed response upon its initial release, with many critics praising its technical achievements and allegorical social metaphors with some deriding its "simplistic and naïve" presentation. Due both to its long running-time and footage censors found questionable, Metropolis was cut substantially after its German premiere; large portions of the film were lost over the subsequent decades.
Numerous attempts have been made to restore the film since the 1970s-80s. Giorgio Moroder, a music producer, released a version with a soundtrack by rock artists such as Freddie Mercury and Adam Ant in 1984. A new reconstruction of Metropolis was shown at the Berlin Film Festival in 2001, and the film was inscribed on UNESCO's Memory of the World Register in the same year, the first film thus distinguished. In 2008, a print of Lang’s original cut of the film was found in a museum in Argentina. After a long restoration process, the restored film was shown on large screens in Berlin and Frankfurt simultaneously on 12 February 2010.