Metropolis (1927) 250 Movies Better than Shawshank


metropolis02Today, while I was writing a review of Emile Zola’s immortal novel: Germinal, I thought of Metropolis. Directed by Fritz Lang, this silent film from 1927 has had a number of face lifts over the years. My personal favorite is the 1984 version in which Giorgio Moroder added a soundtrack with music by various rock artists including Adam Ant and Freddie Mercury. The screenshot to the left gives the impression that Metropolis is a robot movie and places it in the sci-fi genre, but to my mind it’s really a surreal horror addressing a certain little problem that we humans seem to be running into time after time after time, and it’s the same problem so brilliantly presented in Germinal: Some people get to live in the light feeding off of those who live in the dark.

since Metropolis, there have been a number of movies and television episodes with this same theme for example: that horrible 2013 film Elysium as well as the Star Trek episode about the troglodytes: “The Cloud Minders” but of course all of these other iterations are redundant as far as movie world goes, since Metropolis did it magnificently back in 1927. It’s an amazing film that should always appear in the top ten of any list, and it’s laughable to think that Shawshank would ever be placed above it.


Marcia Letaw


  1. Yes, Metropolis is very unusual in giving meaty parts to a female protagonist. I can’t help wondering if the movie wasn’t influenced by Yevgeny Zamyatin’s 1921 dystopian novel: We. We as far as I know was the first such novel and most assuredly influenced 1984 and Fahrenheit 451. The reason I bring this up is that in all 3 of these novels, it’s a woman who opens the eyes of the man and of course he ends up getting into loads of trouble on account of it.

  2. Yeah! “Metropolis” has a lot to offer. Nice that it’s the female characters, robot or otherwise, who have the greatest power to heal, or destroy, the society.

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