Original 1927 cut of Metropolis found! (updated)

A complete, intact, three-and-a-half cut of the 1927 Fritz Lang science fiction classic Metropolis has been found at a film museum in Buenos Aires earlier this year and has now been authenticated by film historians in Berlin this week, according to an article from the Associated Press.

Love or hate the film, this is without question the biggest film news of the decade. I enjoy Metropolis more for its absolutely astounding art direction than for its rather… frustrating story; Fritz Lang’s M — the first and greatest serial killer movie ever — holds up much, much better upon repeat viewings.

The Age explains that “the ‘lost’ footage, some of which is badly scratched in places, reportedly includes battle scenes and sections that flesh out several subplots and characters.” Yet The Guardian asks rather bluntly, what every film lover is thinking: “Will the missing 30 minutes ‘explain’ this sprawling and operatic movie? Or just make it more baroque, more mysterious, and madder than ever?”

Kino International owns the domestic distribution rights to Metropolis and will hopefully make this available on DVD as soon as it can be restored (the Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Foundation owns the rights to the film) — but is it too much to hope for a theatrical release?

(Thanks for the heads-up, David-John Purkis!)

UPDATE (7/6): AICN is doing a great job keeping things up to the minute about this story and has a bunch of stills from the newly-rediscovered footage, to boot.

The Digital Bits (via AICN) breaks the fantastic news that “the newly-discovered footage from Fritz Lang’s original version of Metropolis… will be a part of the forthcoming special edition Blu-ray Disc release in 2009. What’s more, the new special edition will be released on standard DVD format as well on the same day.”

While AICN mentions that it’s unclear whether the new footage will be edited into the film or simply as an extra, they (rightly) add that “Kino is too cool to half-ass something like this.”

Posted on July 4, 2008 at 18:34 by Gordon@MovieMakeout · Permalink
In: News · Tagged with: ,

4 Responses

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  1. Written by MaskedVigilante
    on 2008-07-04 at 20:25

    I haven’t seen it since a film class in college, but I remember being knocked out by the trippy art design. I’m sure it’ll play at the Music Box and art-house theaters in the big cities.

    It’s a definite stoner classic.

  2. Written by foo
    on 2008-07-05 at 10:28

    I’ll watch it just to see what wackadoo stuff was found, even if it doesn’t “add” to the plot. The art deco, new design, etc mix of design elements in the movie enthrall me every time.

  3. Written by Vince
    on 2008-07-06 at 01:37

    this is huge! i have to see this. I have seen the two earlier versions of the film and I’m really excited that there finally isn’t one with either segments missing or text describing whats going on. i hope for a theatrical release, too!

  4. Written by Zac R Cocciolo
    on 2008-07-08 at 01:30


    First thing to make me feel really really happy in a while.

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