Over 2,000 people braved snowy weather to attend the Berlin Film Festival's special screening of a new cut of the classic silent film, Metropolis. And with that enthusiastic response to the sold out event, Metropolis is getting another theatrical release.

Two years ago, three reels of missing scenes were found in a Buenos Aires cinema museum. The footage was verified by German film historians as authentic shortly afterward, and the Friedrich-Wilhelm-Murnau Foundation spent the last two years restoring the film to it's original 150 minutes. The last time the uncut version was seen was May 1927.

Fritz Lang's 1927 avant garde dystopian class struggle was groundbreaking film technically as well as visually. Unfortunately, it was not received well by audiences when it first released, resulting in cuts after dismal box office receipts.

While it was assumed that the 25 minutes of footage were left on the cutting room floor, at least one uncut version made it's way to South America because an Argentinian distributor preferred the original cut. Instead of meeting a contractual obligation to destroy the print after it's theatrical run, he handed it off to a critic. The tale of the missing reels seems worthy enough of a film itself.

Despite being an initial box office failure, it is an undeniable classic, with new fans discovering Metropolis every generation. (In 1984 a colorized version with a rock soundtrack featuring the likes of Freddy Mercury and Pat Benatar was the last time it saw theatrical re-release.) Dieter Kosslick, festival director of the Berlin Film Festival, said that Metropolis has screened seven times at the festival since 1951. Only now the too-familiar disclaimer of missing scenes can be removed.

According to Ain't it Cool News, it's getting a theatrical release as well as a DVD/Blu-Ray release for the holidays.
categories Movies, Sci-Fi