Metropolis is a silent science fiction film by Fritz Lang in which society has been divided into two rigid castes: one of planners, who live above the earth in wealth, and another of workers who live underground in poverty. One of the workers ventures below ground and is astonished by what she sees; she makes efforts to reconcile the two ways of life. The film features special effects and set design that still impress audiences nearly 80 years later.
Thea von Harbou, Lang's wife, published a novel, Metropolis, which was published in an English translation in 1927. The film premiered in Germany in 1926, and a badly-edited version was released in America in 1927. Following the bankruptcy of the filmmakers, the American print seems to be the only extant copy.
Several restored versions (all of them missing footage) were released in the 80s and 90s. 1