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Cover of The Midsummer Station

From The Midsummer Station

Metropolis is a 1927 German expressionist science-fiction film directed by Fritz Lang. The film was written by Lang and his wife Thea Von Harbou, and starred Brigitte Helm, Gustav Fröhlich, Alfred Abel and Rudolf Klein-Rogge. A silent film, it was produced in the Babelsberg Studios by UFA.


“In late 2026, in a utopian society called Metropolis, wealthy industrialists rule from vast tower complexes, oppressing the workers who live in the depths in the underground worker’s city complex beneath them. The film follows Freder (Gustav Fröhlich), the son of the ruthless master of the city, Joh Fredersen (Alfred Abel). While idling away his leisure time in a pleasure garden, Freder encounters a young woman named Maria (Brigitte Helm) who has brought a group of workers’ children to see the privileged lifestyle led by the rich. Maria and the children are quickly ushered away, but Freder is fascinated by Maria and descends to the underground worker’s city in an attempt to find her.

Freder finds the worker’s city and watches in horror as a huge machine explodes, after its operator collapses from exhaustion, injuring many. Appalled by what he has witnessed, Freder runs to tell his father. Joh is angered that he learned of the explosion from Freder rather than his assistant Josaphat (Theodor Loos), and fires Josaphat as a result. When Freder berates his father for this, Joh is unsympathetic to Josaphat or the Workers, being shallow and obsessed with money and power. Josaphat, sad about the loss of his job, attempts to commit suicide over his dismissal, but is stopped by Freder.


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