Metropolis – SF Debris

An opinionated look at the classic Fritz Lang film, a dystopian future involving shape-changing robots, revolting workers, and puffy pants. Special Appearance by Christopher Lloyd as a pimp.

Part 2.

About SF Debris


  1. Over time the movie went from “looks great but the story is a mess” to “looks dated but I assume the story is great since it’s a classic”.

    • TheHappySpaceman

      Hey, for the most part (see the futuristic city) the effects still look more convincing than a lot of modern CGI. And to be fair, for the time being it looked amazing.

    • Except “classic” don’t mean “great” but that “it isn’t cliche because it made those cliches” so only hipster would assume that it is great that way.

      • The assumption for classic I’m using is that it stuck around because people liked it. As explained that wasn’t the case. People tend to have a poor understanding of what a classic is. So if they don’t like it because it’s in B/W or it’s silent, they would figure it must have a good story even though they can’t understand it themselves.

  2. TragicGuineaPig

    Is this the long-awaited sequel to Smallville?

  3. Snorgatch Pandalume

    Here’s a curious fact. There aren’t actually many mad scientists in fiction. Scientists generally don’t build things; rather, they do research and publish papers about it. Most of the “mad scientists” in fiction are actually mad ENGINEERS.

    • isn’t engineering an aspect of science? what with the math, physics and characteristics of the materials involved

      • thespecialneedsgroup

        I’d say that engineering is what happens when you practically apply science to anything.

        • Still engineers are scientists,, but he limit that term only to researchers for some reason?

        • TragicGuineaPig

          The key is in the names: the term “science” derives from a term that simply means “knowledge”, whereas engineer from a term that means “to design or build”. A scientist, therefore, is more concerned with discovery, truth, and understanding, whereas an engineer is more concerned with taking that and making something practical from it. The two fields are intertwined; after all, the engineer’s designs are based on the scientist’s discoveries, and in the process of building, doubtless the engineer must also make new discoveries, hypotheses, and theories in the process of completing his designs. After all, let’s face it, sometimes things that should work in theory don’t quite work in the real world.

          But I think the prototypical “mad scientist” can be found in Dr. Frankenstein. Here is a man that wants to discover the nature of life, and in the process, ends up creating new life.

          • Again engineers ARE the scientist! I completely don’t know from where you get that esoteric interpretations from ass? Use the dictionary! Especially because large part of research are performed by engineers (furthermore those considered as hard scence), so claim that they only build is a false from get go.

            PS: There are also crazy researchers by the way.. they typically want cut things or made dangerous experiments. So that statement is again completely false.

    • Idea of “Mad Scientist” is result of people ignorance about science. Most scientist are overall careful and it is politicians who are the worst. In fact similar myth is about military people, most of them is against war as they know that shit from practice and in fact they stop already at least few third world wars, but ignorant see them as warmongers anyway.

  4. The special effects of this thing continue to amaze me, considering the time in which it was made.

    Also, one of my best friends is named von Harbou. When we first met and I mentioned that there was a famous screenwriter by that name, it turned out she is Thea von Harbou’s great great great grand-niece.

  5. To be honest this movie was panned by Science Fiction writers because they take it literally as SF work (so it was seen outdated rip off) when it was more SF inspired poetic work what in fact at its core is still current even more now that it was before (and many SF works of its time). H.G. Wells was correct that automation should relieve workers what was the case for some time, but.. we see now that Lang have the point in noticing that cruel principalities of business and reality will waste that in they run for profits. Even if machines can replace people in some aspect they also decrees its value and force them for overtime work just because they are easy to be replaced by another desperate for work people. We see that today when efficiency increase dramatically and payment stay as it was because no one care if person burn out. Motto of this movie stay actual even today.. hell! It is more actual today as this question will dictate our future. Do common people would be left behind or fruits of work of machines will be also given to them, not only to small group of people owning machines? It is about the heart in end..

  6. Ok, Fritz Lang was already scary to me because of his monocle and his extreme directing methods, but knowing this thing about his wife’s very strange death now make him enter fucked up territory. But I still can’t hate him, it was too long ago, my grandparents weren’t even born when this shady case happened for Pete’s sake, and his movies are still masterpieces, especially Metropolis.

Leave a Reply