There's a new version of "Metropolis" out there:
They discovered it in July (In South America, of course, where one finds all sorts of old German shit)
7/2/2008: Key scenes from Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis” have been rediscovered Last Tuesday Paula Félix-Didier travelled on a secret mission to Berlin in order to meet with three film experts and editors from ZEITmagazin. The museum director from Buenos Aires had something special in her luggage: a copy of a long version of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, including scenes believed lost for almost 80 years. After examining the film the three experts are certain: The find from Buenos Aires is a real treasure, a worldwide sensation. Metropolis, the most important silent film in German history, can from this day on be considered to have been rediscovered.
UNESCO had screened a "new" version in April 2004...
A new, digitally re-mastered version of Fritz Lang’s futuristic film Metropolis was screened at UNESCO Headquarters on Tuesday, April 13, on the eve of its re-release by French film company MK2 in France. The “new” version of the spectacular 1927 German masterpiece, the first film to be inscribed on UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register, features, for the first time the soundtrack especially composed by Gottfried Huppertz for the film.
Since its inclusion on UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register in 2001, the film has had a new lease on life and has been screened in its restored form in Germany and elsewhere. The Memory of the World (MOW) programme was established in 1993 to preserve and promote documentary heritage, much of it endangered, as this heritage is as important for the preservation of cultures and humanity’s cultural diversity as are the monuments inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage list.
The film is set in the year 2026, in the extraordinary Gothic skyscrapers of a corporate city-state, the Metropolis of the title. Society has been divided into two rigid groups: one of planners or thinkers, who live high above the earth in luxury, and another of workers who live underground toiling to sustain the lives of the privileged. The city is run by Johann 'Joh' Fredersen (Alfred Abel).
The beautiful and evangelical figure Maria (Brigitte Helm) takes up the cause of the workers. She advises the desperate workers not to start a revolution, and instead wait for the arrival of "The Mediator", who, she says, will unite the two halves of society. The son of Fredersen, Freder (Gustav Fröhlich), becomes infatuated with Maria, and follows her down into the working underworld. In the underworld, he experiences firsthand the toiling lifestyle of the workers, and observes the casual attitude of their employers (he is disgusted after seeing an explosion at the "M-Machine", when the employers bring in new workers to keep the machine running before taking care of the men wounded or killed in the accident). Shocked at the workers' living conditions, he joins her cause.
Meanwhile his father Fredersen consults with the scientist Rotwang (Rudolf Klein-Rogge), an old companion and rival. Fredersen learns that the papers found with dead workers are plans of the catacombs and witnesses a speech by Maria. He also learns that Rotwang has built a robotic gynoid. Rotwang wants to give the robot the appearance of Hel, his former lover who left him for Fredersen and died giving birth to Freder. Fredersen persuades him to give the robot Maria's appearance, as he wants to use the robot to tighten his control over the workers. Rotwang complies out of ulterior motives: he knows of Freder's and Maria's love and wants to use the robot to deprive Fredersen of his son.
The real Maria is imprisoned in Rotwang's house in Metropolis, while the robot Maria is first showcast as an exotic dancer in the upper city's Yoshiwara nightclub, fomenting discord among the rich young men of Metropolis. After descending to the worker's city, the robot Maria encourages the workers into a full-scale rebellion, and they destroy the "Heart Machine", the power station of the city. Neither Freder nor Grot, the foreman of the Heart Machine, can stop them. As the machine is destroyed, the city's reservoirs overflow, flooding the workers' underground city and seemingly drowning the children, who were left behind in the riot. In fact, Freder and Maria have saved them in a heroic rescue, without the workers' knowledge.
When the workers realize the damage they have done and that their children are lost, they attack the upper city. Under the leadership of Grot, they chase the human Maria, whom they hold responsible for their riot. As they break into the city's entertainment district, they run into the Yoshiwara crowd and capture the robot Maria, while the human Maria manages to escape. The workers burn the captured Maria at the stake; Freder, believing this to be the human Maria, despairs but then he and the workers realize that the burned Maria is in fact a robot.
Meanwhile, the human Maria is chased by Rotwang along the battlements of the city's cathedral. Freder chases after Rotwang, resulting in a climactic scene in which Joh Fredersen watches in terror as his son struggles with Rotwang on the cathedral's roof. Rotwang falls to his death, and Maria and Freder return to the street, where Freder unites Fredersen and Grot, fulfilling his role as the "Mediator".
Unfortunately METROPOLIS is not available in it's entirety on the web for me to embed here.
Scene from Fritz Lang's 1925 film, "Metropolis" which portrays a city which is sustained by massive underground machine-works and colonies of subjugated workers.
Freder, son of the "Master of Metropolis", strays into the forbidden sub-underground where the machines and human machine operators are hard at work. An accident occurs and many workers are killed. Freder looks on in horror as the great machine transforms into the face of MOLOCH, a demonic ghoul with pointed fangs and mouth agape. Workers plunge into the cavernous mouth, paying the ultimate sacrifice to the monstrous demon-machine.