This is so exciting! Few films have been as important to me as Metropolis, and now it looks like some missing scenes have been recovered, changing the narrative. Guardian UK writes,
The cinematic world was today celebrating the rediscovery of missing scenes from German director Fritz Lang’s legendary silent film Metropolis – thought lost for 80 years, until they were found in the archive of a museum in Argentina.
Key scenes cut from the science fiction picture – either because they were considered to be too brutal or too long – will now be available for the first time since May 1927, when the original version was last shown in Berlin, where it flopped badly. The head of the Berlin film museum Deutsche Kinematik, Dr Rainer Rother, called the find a “sensational discovery”, adding that one of the most famous films of all time “can now be seen through new eyes”.
Metropolis, which is set in a futuristic city state and explores the clash between workers and their capitalist exploiters, was at the time one of the most expensive films ever made. Produced in the Babelsberg studios on the outskirts of Berlin, it cost around 7m Reichsmarks, but was hated by critics and the public alike. It was shortened by the American company Paramount Pictures, who considered it impenetrable for the US market, leading to an oversimplification of the plot, the disappearance of key scenes and the sidelining of significant characters.
But the restored version, which has so far been seen by only a handful of film experts and critics in Berlin, is said to throw light on key questions that have puzzled and tantalised generations of film buffs.Link.