Ain't It Cool News (www.aintitcool.com)
Movie News

The Restored METROPOLIS Is Coming To Turner Classic Movies On Nov. 7, A Week Before The Blu-ray Streets!!

I am – Hercules!! Once upon a time, the full-length version of Fritz Lang’s sci-fi masterpiece “Metropolis” was thought lost forever. Two years ago a lot of the missing pieces were found in Buenos Aires. And now those who get TCM will get to see the new 21st century version of "Metropolis" -- the most complete seen since the 1920s -- for free a week before it hits DVD and Blu-ray. This is what I call good news:
For Release: October 19, 2010 TCM to Present World Television Premiere of Extensively Restored Version Of Fritz Lang’s 1927 Masterpiece Metropolis This November, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will present a groundbreaking achievement in filmmaking and film restoration with the world television premiere of the newly restored version of Fritz Lang’s 1927 science-fiction masterpiece Metropolis. This extraordinary new edition of the film, which had its North American theatrical premiere at the TCM Classic Festival in April, features 25 minutes of previously lost scenes, as well as the original Gottfried Huppertz score. Metropolis is slated to premiere on TCM Sunday, Nov. 7, at 8 p.m. (ET), one week before the release of DVD and Blu-ray Disc™ editions from Kino International. TCM’s presentation will be followed at 11 p.m. (ET) by Metropolis Refound (2010), a one-hour documentary about the discovery of new footage. Metropolis is one of the most memorable films of the silent era and an iconic example of German expressionism. The story takes place in a futuristic, high-tech city ruled by Joh Fredersen (Alfred Abel). Above ground, the city’s elites enjoy all the luxuries imaginable, while underground, serfs labor long, grueling hours to keep the machinery of the city running. A young woman named Maria (Brigitte Helm) takes Fredersen’s naïve son, Freder (Gustav Frölich), down to the catacombs to see the plight of the workers. The inhumanity leads him to rebel against his father and fight to free those who suffer under the city’s streets. When Fredersen discovers his son’s betrayal, he seeks help from an old friend-turned-rival, the scientist Rotwang (Rudolf Klein-Rogge), who has created a female robot that can be used to suppress the coming worker rebellion. But Rotwang has an agenda of his own that could result in the destruction of the entire city. Metropolis took director Fritz Lang two years to complete and soared past its original budget. Lang shot more than 1.3 million meters of footage and used 36,000 extras, including 750 children. When Metropolis premiered in 1927, it was mildly successful, in part because its extreme length (204 minutes) made it difficult to screen. Distributors began using severely truncated versions, many of which mangled plot and character elements. Over time, only the edited versions remained in circulation, and Lang’s original vision was believed lost forever. The restoration of Metropolis began in summer 2008, when the curator of the Buenos Aires Museo del Cine discovered a 16mm negative of the film, including 25 minutes – one fifth of the entire film – that had not been seen since the 1927 Berlin premiere. Although it didn’t include all of Lang’s original version, it was the most complete print of the film ever found. The discovery prompted a new restoration and reconstruction project, headed by Anke Wilkening of the Murnau Stiftung (Murnau Foundation), which serves as caretaker for virtually all pre-1945 German films, and Martin Koerber, film department curator of the Deutche Kinemateque. Acclaimed German conductor and arranger Frank Stoebel, who has worked extensively with music for silent films, adapted the Huppertz score. The newly reconstructed, 147-minute version of Metropolis features extensive scenes that flesh out many of the supporting characters, fill in jarring gaps in the plot and provide additional back story. The restoration premiered on Feb. 12, 2010, at the Berlin Film Festival. It made its North American debut on April 25, 2010, in Hollywood as part of the first-ever TCM Classic Film Festival. Kino International will release The Complete Metropolis on Blu-Ray and two-disc DVD Tuesday, Nov. 16. Both formats are available for pre-order from TCM’s online store at http://tcm.com/shop. About Turner Classic Movies (TCM) Turner Classic Movies is a Peabody Award-winning network that presents great films, uncut and commercial-free, from the largest film libraries in the world. Currently seen in more than 85 million homes, TCM features the insights of veteran primetime host Robert Osborne and weekend daytime host Ben Mankiewicz, plus interviews with a wide range of special guests. As the foremost authority in classic films, TCM offers critically acclaimed original documentaries and specials, along with regular programming events that include The Essentials, 31 Days of Oscar and Summer Under the Stars. TCM also stages special events and screenings, such as the TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood ; produces a wide range of media about classic film, including books and DVDs; and hosts a wealth of materials at its Web site, www.tcm.com. TCM is part of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company, creates and programs branded news, entertainment, animation and young adult media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world. -30-
The less-good news I suppose, is we're still missing a whopping 57 minutes of the 204-minute version. And that TCM does not seem to be available in HD on my cable system.
Follow Herc on Twitter!! Follow Evil Herc on Twitter!!

Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus
    + Expand All
  • Oct. 19, 2010, 2:26 p.m. CST

    FIRST!!!!

    by MegaBaz

    At last!

  • Oct. 19, 2010, 2:28 p.m. CST

    UK as well?

    by MegaBaz

    Wonder if it will be shown on TCM in the UK as well? Probably not...

  • Oct. 19, 2010, 2:30 p.m. CST

    Didn't they also find...

    by lock67ca

    ....another almost complete print in Chile a few years ago? Wonder what happened with that?

  • Oct. 19, 2010, 2:32 p.m. CST

    now these are cool news

    by KilliK

  • Oct. 19, 2010, 2:32 p.m. CST

    It's C3PO's Mom! Amazing design work

    by skimn

    Given the material available in 1927...must have been a bitch to wear.

  • Oct. 19, 2010, 2:32 p.m. CST

    THIRD AS WELL!!!!

    by MegaBaz

    Where the heck is everyone? Did I miss the apocalypse or something? Is the world ablaze outside my door?

  • Oct. 19, 2010, 2:33 p.m. CST

    NOT THIRD AS WELL!!!!!

    by MegaBaz

    But you can't take that FIRST away from me...

  • Oct. 19, 2010, 2:34 p.m. CST

    Streets?

    by Bronx Cheer

    jeebus. seriously?

  • Oct. 19, 2010, 2:34 p.m. CST

    Hollywood should remake it

    by KilliK

    a social commentary for our modern ultra-technological time.why not?

  • Oct. 19, 2010, 2:37 p.m. CST

    This is awesome!

    by ltgalloway

    I plan to buy the restored version when it comes out, but it's great that it will be broadcast. Will Robert Osborne host it? I hope so...

  • Oct. 19, 2010, 2:37 p.m. CST

    No, they shouldn't remake it

    by lock67ca

    Why not? Because given the current track record for remakes, it'll suck donkey balls, and be dumbed down, because Hollywood thinks Americans are stupid.

  • Oct. 19, 2010, 2:41 p.m. CST

    Why call it 'Complete'

    by Abominable Snowcone

    if it's not?

  • Oct. 19, 2010, 2:45 p.m. CST

    Let Lucas remake it!!!!!!!!

    by MegaBaz

    In 3D!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!And then tie it into Lost and Star Trek!!!!!!!!!!!And ABC's V reboot!!!!!!!!!!!!!Then put the whole fucking thing in the trash!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I've never even seen this somewhat tedious looking 'masterpiece' but i'm overcome with excitement at yet another incomplete version being titled as a compete version!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Oct. 19, 2010, 2:45 p.m. CST

    I'll wait for 1080p..

    by darthwaz1

  • Oct. 19, 2010, 2:50 p.m. CST

    ahem,,

    by smylexx

    Yes, yes... all very interesting but what does this have to do with the fact that Tom Bosley has died?

  • Oct. 19, 2010, 3:12 p.m. CST

    Remember that Talkback?

    by AdzonVonMelk

    From when they were supposed to broadcast the premiere of this version of METROPOLIS via the internet but instead they just showed a bunch of folks freezing in the cold an whatching this movie on a public screen that was barely visible in that broadcast? that was the funniest talkback AICN-readers ever produced.

  • Oct. 19, 2010, 3:13 p.m. CST

    The amazing thing about Metropolis...

    by MyGodItsFullOfStars

    ...is that it LOOKS so amazing. Probably every sci fi movie since then has borrowed an element of its visual style. But I must admit that, in the story department, it merely staggers along: very slow paced, pretty dull characters, and so on. It remains, however, a stunning visual experience. Since I bought the previous restoration about 6 years ago, I find it a bit silly to dig into the pocket again for the extra 30 minutes of undoubtedly stunning images and tedious story.

  • Oct. 19, 2010, 3:38 p.m. CST

    The (not) complete Metropolis

    by Black Jesus

    It's still missing 17 minutes, dipshits, so you can't really call it "complete", can you? Marketing bullshit.

  • Oct. 19, 2010, 3:40 p.m. CST

    If I Remember...

    by Aquatarkusman

    ... there is a behind the scenes picture of the woman in the robot suit, and it was remade as a cartoon in 2001.

  • Oct. 19, 2010, 3:41 p.m. CST

    Make that 57 minutes

    by Black Jesus

    Sooo not complete.

  • Oct. 19, 2010, 3:48 p.m. CST

    Running time

    by lock67ca

    The film premiered at 153 minutes. About six minutes of footage was too damaged to use for the restoration, which brings the current version to about 147 minutes. So It's as complete as it's ever likely to get. Depending on projector speeds used, the run time could be stretched out to as long as 200 minutes.

  • Oct. 19, 2010, 4:02 p.m. CST

    These mysterious 57 minutes..

    by Richard_Ortmann

    .. made my day ;-) Thanks for this humorous piece of news!! So TCM announces the "North-American World Television Premiere of the week" or what? In the old country, they had their "World Television Premiere" back in February. Don't bother to wait for your "uber"-204-minutes-version, dear Herc. It doesn't exist. Well, it does - sort of: if you play your "Complete Metropolis" with 18 frames per second instead of 24, you get your 204 minutes (except for the still missing pieces and such). Of course I would choose neither 18 nor 24 fps for Metropolis, rather 20-22 if I were to choose. But that's just me, the lonely and misunderstood Richard Ortmann

  • Oct. 19, 2010, 4:08 p.m. CST

    Recorded it

    by BetaSword

    as it aired in Germanys Free-TV.

  • Oct. 19, 2010, 4:54 p.m. CST

    not a world premiere

    by rubbiboy

    as the new version was already shown on germany and france cultural channel ARTE in HD, it is not a "world premiere".... but sure it sounds good to market this in the states as one... may the net help you in finding the HD version if you wish to...

  • Oct. 19, 2010, 5:02 p.m. CST

    the blu-ray release of this...

    by Grendy

    in the US is not as cool as the one on Amazon UK's site. Comes in a metal case and has two discs, blu and standard def: http://tinyurl.com/2eomp9p here's the link to the US Amazon version: http://tinyurl.com/24bkkwx I think it's probably better to get the UK edition, it's about the same price, and at least at this point, since the US-version doesn't list extras-- it has cool extras, including a book w/ info and pics.

  • Oct. 19, 2010, 6:19 p.m. CST

    AdzonVonMelk

    by pushthebuttonmax

    That talkback had me belly laughing for three solid hours, I could barely walk the next day.

  • Oct. 19, 2010, 6:29 p.m. CST

    So if you are aware it's not complete...

    by HypeEndsHere

    then their marketing ploy didn't work on you. so what's the problem? hold your money in your little hand and wait 80 years for your precious 4 minutes of (known) footage and quit whining at NOTHING important. God, I thought 9/11 was a tragedy but apparently I was way off.

  • Oct. 19, 2010, 7:17 p.m. CST

    Metropolis is not

    by Shaner Jedi

    a great movie as a movie. It's great as a piece of cinematic history and as a signpost to folks who would take its elements to greater and better heights.

  • Oct. 19, 2010, 7:26 p.m. CST

    Yeah, the Feb talkback during the live German feed...

    by Daytripper69

    ... is the gold standard with which all other TalkBack humor will be judged. Here's the URL (delete the spaces after the slashes): http:// www.aintitcool.com/ talkback_display/ 43982

  • Oct. 19, 2010, 8:31 p.m. CST

    There is no TCM-HD

    by film11

    Yes, they have an HD channel, but they do not show any films in HD on it! No mention in the article if METROPOLIS will be an exception, so I'll wait for the disc.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 2 a.m. CST

    What the hell is the point of having an HD channel

    by lock67ca

    If you don't show anything in HD?

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 3:30 a.m. CST

    Unlike 2001...

    by darthwaz1

    Metropolis works as a movie w/real characters and plot, whereas 2001 is mostly just a series of images set to music w/a very loose storyline that drags on and on..at least Metropolis is a true sci fi classic!

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 10:46 a.m. CST

    Hey Richard Ortmann...

    by Phimseto

    ...can you talk a bit more about that? I have heard a few times about these disagreements about how the film should be projected, but a lot of it is greek to me. I'd love to understand: is the film meant to be projected...more slowly (is that the right word?) and if so, why do Kino and the Murnau Foundation get it wrong?

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 2:17 p.m. CST

    For Phimseto: why wrong is right

    by Richard_Ortmann

    It's rather a matter of personal taste. There is no "right" projection-speed for a silent movie. You probably know there was no standard recording-speed before the use of sound. Hand-cranked cameras were used well into the 20s, so recording-speeds changed by coincidence or on purpose (for dramatic effects) throughout a movie. Theater owner could speed up the projector to play more shows per day.. To us today, it seems horrible unnatural when actors in silent movies move too fast. The movie-audiences back then were used to it. But Fritz Langs silent movies with their "heavy" images demand to be projected "more slowly". Afair, Enno Patalas from Filmmuseum Munich, who headed an earlier Metropolis reconstruction project during the 1980s, prefered Metropolis to be watched at 18 fps and in total silence. That's another extreme. The problem with 24 fps is that some parts of Metropolis look like slapstick comedy.. So why on earth do Kino and Murnau Foundation use 24 fps? That's quite simple: An important part of the reconstruction was the original score that Gottfried Huppertz composed for Langs original cut of Metropolis. Not only delivered Huppertz papers valuable clues for the restoration. As the picture was nearly complete again, it was also finally possible to match up picture and music. And to make that work, they had to use a procection-speed that fits the score.

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 4:45 p.m. CST

    Richard_Ortmann:

    by Daytripper69

    Yes it's true: the film used Gottfried Huppertz's score as a guide to re-construct the film. However, if the film now fits the score, doesn't that mean that the film is now shown in the correct speed?

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 5:07 p.m. CST

    Metropolis Speed Limits

    by Richard_Ortmann

    Yes Daytripper69, it is the correct speed (more or less), if you take the 1927 premiere as reference. The composition-notes strangely suggest even higher frame-rates (don't ask me how that works). I dig film history, but I'm not such a purist that I can ignore Freder doing the Road Runner (meep meep).

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 5:54 p.m. CST

    Fritz Lang...

    by MegaBaz

    ...gotta eat!

  • Oct. 20, 2010, 7:36 p.m. CST

    "36,000 extras, including 750 chickens"

    by CountryBoy

    That's what I first read, somehow...