Films & Architecture: “Metropolis”

Following with the list of films we propose every week, as The Belly of the Architect, Blade Runner, and Gattaca.This week we are going back to the times when technologies didn’t allow yet the sound or even color to be part of films. , one of the classics by the German director , is a film that shows a future where the city is structured in vertical layers according to the different social strata. Something that could be recognized in the current situation of several cities today… Do you know about any example? Do you think this will be the actual future pattern of our cities?


Original Title: Metropolis
Year: 1927
Runtime: 120 min.
Country: Germany
Director: Fritz Lang
Writer: Thea von Harbou
Soundtrack: Berndt Heller, Otto Harzner, Frank Strobel
Photography Director: Karl Freund & Günther Rittau
Cast: Gustav Fröhlich,  Brigitte Helm,  Alfred Abel,  Rudolf Klein-Rogge,  Fritz Rasp,  Theodor Loos,  Heinrich George


In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class, who live in poor conditions but are the basic force for the city’s work, and the upper class, which is mainly integrated by the city planners and their families, two persons from each class fall in love with each other. One of them is a working class prohet, a woman who gives hope to the city’s workers. She predicts the coming of a savior, a savior who will mediate the differences between the social groups and give the city the start of new era.

The other is the son of the city’s mastermind. But the prophet is kidnapped by a crazy inventor, who wants to use her to make a robot work. The robot is given the same physical appearence the prophet has. Following orders from the crazy inventor, the robot creates a lot of problems for the working class. The son of the city’s mastermind and the prophet will have to stop the robot and its crazy inventor for creating more problems for Metropolis, and achieve the goal of making Metropolis an harmonius place.


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Cite: Portilla, Daniel. "Films & Architecture: “Metropolis”" 29 May 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 27 May 2015. <>
  • Agustín

    It looks like a premonition of ’70s-’90s postmodernism

  • Pedro

    Really looks like Antonio Santella’s “Cita nuova” and other projects, one of the very first architect of italian futurist movement…

  • pedro

    Go and look at Antonio Santella’s drawings (Cita nuova…), one of the very first architect of the italian futurist movement.

  • Farhad

    Authoritarian architecture…
    From an architectural view, the best part is that architecture is not just a background, it plays a major role here. It’s Metropolis wh(o)ich has more of identity and characteristics than the citizens.

  • Phillip H.

    And the workers go on foot but the richs ride cars, planes or even horses to their privative “Pleasure Garden”.