METROPOLIS. Thea Von Harbou.


London: Hutchinson & Co. (Publishers) Ltd., n.d., [1927?]. Octavo, pp. [1-12] 13-250 [251: blank] [252: printer's imprint] [253-256: blank] [note: first and last leaves used as front and rear paste-downs], four inserted plates reproducing stills based on the film, original red boards, front panel stamped in black and ruled in blind, spine panel stamped in black. First illustrated British edition. Reissue utilizing the plates of the 1927 Readers Library Publishing Company edition. The book release is a novelization of the screenplay by Fritz Lang and Thea von Harbou of Lang's 1926 UFA film which was about three hours long in it's original seventeen-reel version. "Though often described as the first SF epic of the cinema, this famous German film -- of which no complete version now exists -- has just as much in common with the cinema of the Gothic. Though set in a future visually emphasized by towering buildings and vast brooding machines, the city of Metropolis has an underworld dark and medieval in atmosphere ... The story of METROPOLIS is trite and its politics ludicrously simplistic; but these flaws cannot detract from the sheer visual power of the film -- a combination of the high Expressionistic sets (the work of art directors Otto Hunte, Erich Kettelhut and Karl Vollbrecht) and Lang's direction ... METROPOLIS, which was extremely expensive and not a financial success, almost bankrupted the studio that made it (UFA). The film was cut almost as soon as it was released, and -- still in the 1920s -- shortened yet more radically in the UK and USA. Even recently restored archival versions are half an hour shorter than the original." - Clute and Nicholls (eds), The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (1993), p. 804-5. Anatomy of Wonder (1976) 3-23; (1981) 2-112; (1987) 2-123 and (1995) 2-132. Bleiler, Science-Fiction: The Early Years 1040. Locke, A Spectrum of Fantasy, p. 104. Survey of Science Fiction Literature III, pp. 1383-86. Bleiler (1978), p. 93. Reginald 14733. Hint of rubbing to boards, mostly along outer front joint, pulp paper lightly age-darkened (less than usual), a clean, near fine copy of this cheap, fragile production. Scarce. (13379). Item #13379

Price: $650.00

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