Metropolis - cut content (partially lost scenes from German sci-fi film; 1927)
Metropolis is a 1927 silent German science fiction movie by Fritz Lang. The movie is legendary for its quality and striking special effects for its time, and is often considered one of the greatest films ever made.
After its Berlin premiere, the film was chopped down from its original two-and-a-half-hour running time to as short as an hour and a half to appeal to an international audience. Many plot-relevant scenes were cut, including several important characters. Due to this, the plot made little sense, and film historians pushed hard to try to figure out the film's many mysteries.
In 2008, a highly damaged copy was uncovered in Argentina from a film collector that somehow got a hold of a copy of the original 153-minute cut. A few film historians from the area found it odd that the few times Metropolis was loaned to theaters by the collector, theater employees remember having to wait 2 and a half hours. Now it is known why Argentinian film-goers for years got the opportunity to see the film in its entirety and didn't even know they were the few people for decades to have seen it. The film was badly damaged and transferred onto safety film since Nitrate film stock burns easily. This copy of the film also suffered a loss of quality due to being printed on 16mm positive stock; the original negatives were shot on 35mm film. One of the largest film restoration efforts in history took place to put the scenes back in their original place.
In 2010, Kino Films in cooperation with the F.W. Murnau Foundation showed the now-99-percent-complete version of the film to audiences around the world and put it on DVD. There are still two missing scenes from the film that were too heavily damaged for the restoration. These scenes are a monk preaching in a chapel and a fight between Rotwang and Fredersen. This is probably the most complete the film will ever be. There is also a highly rumored three-and-a-half-hour long "Director's Cut" of the film which reportedly existed before the Berlin premiere, but these claims have yet to be verified and are more than likely false. Another thing is that there are still scenes and shots of the film that are yet incomplete. Even the original title cards are missing.
- fripesci article on the cutting of some scenes in Metropolis Retrieved 10 Mar '18
- Kino Lorber article on the discovery and restoration of Metropolis. Retrieved 10 Mar '18
- theguardian article on the discovery of the lost scenes of Metropolis. Retrieved 10 Mar '18
- Zeit article on how the missing scenes of Metropolis were discovered Retrieved 10 Mar '18
- filmcomment article on the restoration and release of Metropolis on DVD Retrieved 10 Mar '18