Here’s a surprise. Earlier today, Harry Knowles at Ain’t It Cool News revealed that Kino International will be bringing Giorgio Moroder’s 1984 presentation of Metropolis to Blu-ray and DVD later this year. The official Metropolis Facebook page lists the street date as November 15.
For many of my generation, Moroder’s rescored restoration provided our introduction to Fritz Lang’s silent science fiction classic. Purists may have gnashed their teeth over the film’s '80s soundtrack, which featured songs by such artists as Freddie Mercury, Pat Benatar, Bonnie Tyler, Loverboy, and others. But Moroder almost certainly got people to see Metropolis who would have never even considered watching a silent film. And years later, it’s the powerful story and images we remember, not Billy Squier.
Last year, Kino released The Complete Metropolis, a meticulous restoration incorporating 25 minutes of footage that had been presumed lost. It’s an extraordinary disc and will likely remain the definitive version of Lang’s film. But Moroder’s version remained unreleased on DVD due to rights issues regarding its soundtrack.
Make no mistake, Moroder’s Metropolis is not the best version of the film. But it is a fascinating companion piece to The Complete Metropolis and an excellent example of how music can drastically alter your reaction to a film. Whether you’re a fan of Metropolis or the trapped-in-amber '80s time capsule soundtrack, this is a release to get excited about. For those of us who saw it back in ’84, it’ll be a nostalgic time machine trip back to an experience we thought we’d never get to have again.