Five years ago Paramount Home Video put out a DVD of the “authorized restored version” of Fritz Lang‘s Metropolis, and everyone was happy. Here, finally, was the version film buffs could buy and take to bed. “At last we have the movie every would-be cinematic visionary has been trying to make since 1927,” said N.Y. Times critic A.O. Scott.
No longer. A near complete version of the film has been found in Argentina after a quarter of the film was believed lost for 80 years, a German film foundation announced two days ago. The extra footage runs an extra 25 minutes, and the 2003 DVD runs 124 minutes, so this new and presumably final version of Metropolis will presumably run 149 minutes, or just shy of two and a half hours. This is excellent new, of course, but I’ve seen Metropolis twice and I’ve never felt the absence of any vital narrative thread. I’m not a Lang scholar so what do I know?