Must See: Metropolis

Illustration for article titled Must See: Metropolis

Must-see movies are futuristic classics that shouldn't be missed. Of course, not every must-see is perfect. That's why we've rated them 1-5 on the patented "crunchy goodness" scale.

Title: Metropolis
Date: 1927

Vitals: In a future world divided between rich people with flying cars and impoverished masses who live in hovels, a socialite do-gooder named Maria tries to help the poor by concocting social programs from the golf course on top of her skyscraper. But a warmongering mad scientist has other plans: he kidnaps Maria and creates a robot double of her to give speeches about socialist revolution to the workers while clutching her breasts provocatively. This classic silent flick gave the world its first evil female cyborg bent on destruction.


Famous names: Fritz Lang

Crunchy goodness: 5

Spinoffs/sequels/copycats: Arguably this movie spawned an entire class of fembot supervillains, including the ones in Stepford Wives, Eve of Destruction, Terminator 3, and of course Austin Powers.


Design breakthrough: All of the sets and conceptual design in Metropolis were state-of-the-art futurism at the time. The soaring skyscrapers in the city, flying vehicles, elevated roads, and robotics tech were truly visionary, and introduced audiences to urban futurism.

Sight you'll never unsee: The mad engineer bringing robo-Maria to life. This scene has become so iconic that it's been referenced in everything from beer commercials to doctoral dissertations.

Read the novelization online by the original screenwriter Thea von Harbou

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