D: Fritz Lang
UFA (Erich Pommer)
Germany 1926 (re-edited issue 1984)
120 mins (1984 version: 83 mins)
W: Thea Von Harbou
DP: Karl Freund & Günther Rittau
PD: Otto Hunte, Erich Kettlehut & Karl Volbrecht
Brigitte Helm (Maria), Alfred Abel (Joh Frederson), Gustav Fröhlich (Freder), Rudolf Klein-Rogge (Rotwang), Fritz Rasp (The Thin Man)
In 1926-27, this German silent would have wowed cinema audiences the way modern audiences are blown away by IMAX. As a work of art, it's still hugely influential for the majority of futuristic science fiction films, especially for the production designers who create the wonderful worlds of tomorrow. As far as entertainment is concerned, this is unlikely to interest anyone who isn't either working in the biz or merely a film buff. Overlong and heavy-going in places, it's not an easy watch, despite the brilliance for its age.
Set in a modernistic city in the year 2000, political unrest stirs amongst a group of workers who live underground, and an inventor creates an evil cyborg in the likeness of a saintly girl to control the populace.
That's the story in a nutshell, effective in the way it's told simply because it's a film project which hadn't been directed in this way prior.
A must-see, if only for educational purposes (the original 1926 silent, not Giorgio Moroder's re-cut 1984 version with a rock music soundtrack).