“Metropolis” has been one of my favorite films since I first saw it in college. So I was very excited when a near-complete print was discovered a few years ago in South America and a restored version with 20+ minutes of missing footage was released in theaters and on DVD last year.
This wasn’t just the typical deleted scenes added to pad DVD’s, the film had been severely cut shortly after release, removing key scenes that crippled understanding of the plot. The footage had deteriorated somewhat, but finding it at all was one of those minor miracles and triumphs of film preservation.
A side effect of this, of course, has been a renewed interest in the film. The always wonderful “Paleofuture” blog at the Smithsonian website has a post featuring a 1927 “Science and Invention” magazine article about “Metropolis” called, “A Movie Based on Science.” This is a contemporary account of the making of the film, showcasing the then-amazing technology used to achieve its special effects. The blog post includes illustrations from the article which are worth clicking through to, even if you don’t read the full text of the post.