Silent film Metropolis original seen for the first time in decades
Argentine film museum discovers rare original cut of classic silent film "Metropolis"
Buenos Aires -- A long-lost original cut of the 1927 silent film Metropolis was discovered In an Argentine film museum and shown to journalists for the first time on Thursday.
The celluloid of the German classic was in private hands for 80 years and then in the Museum of Cinema in Buenos Aires where it was discovered in April with never-before seen scratched images.
Museum director Paula Felix-Didier said theirs is the only copy of German director Fritz Lang's complete film.
Three reels, edited out and long thought to be lost, were part of the discovery of the film that depicts a 21st century mechanised world divided between a class of underworld workers and thinkers who control them.
Buenos Aires film distributor Adolfo Z Wilson acquired a long version of "Metropolis" in 1928 which survived as a copy, and finally ended up in the archive of a local film museum, said Felix-Didier.
A DVD of the version was brought to Germany for analysis to the Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau Foundation in Wiesbaden, Germany, which owns the rights to "Metropolis." Researchers there confirmed that the scenes were original.
Written by Lang and his actress wife Thea von Harbou, Metropolis was originally three and a half hours long but was cut into a shorter version, since seen by millions worldwide.
It was not a commercial success and nearly bankrupted the studio behind it. According to some estimates, it still ranks as one of the most expensive movies ever made once inflation is factored in.