On January 10, 1927, Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis” premiered in Berlin at the Ufa-Palast am Zoo. The silent sci-fi masterpiece was met with mixed reviews at the time but would go on to be one of the most revered and influencial movies of all time, though not in the form that was shown 85 years ago today.
Soon after its debut, “Metropolis” was cut tremendously from 210 minutes down to under an hour for the U.S. release. Germany followed suit with its own shortened version, and by the 1980s most people were seeing less than half the original film. Then, a restored two-hour version was completed in 2002, seemingly as good as we’d ever get. Until the remarkable 2008 discovery of a lost print in Buenos Aires which brought the length up to 145 minutes. It’s not 210 minutes, but it’s likely as close as we’ll ever have.
If you’ve never seen it or want to revisit it, this is as good a day as any. You can watch the whole restored version below in HD via YouTube (with a ‘live’ orchestra accompaniment) or stream it via Netflix Watch Instantly or Amazon Instant Video.