Lot 28: Metropolis (Premiere Season Film Program, 1927)
August 28, 2016
Adelaide, AustraliaLive Auction
Metropolis. Premier Presentation at Marble Arch Pavilion, W.1. Monday, March 21st . Special Season. Wardour Films Limited [cover title]. 'Metropolis' Magazine. Depicting Scenes, Story and Incidents in the Making of the World's Greatest Modern Spectacular Film Masterpiece ...
London, Wardour Films Limited, . Quarto,  pages with numerous illustrations (after photographs) plus flush-cut colour pictorial card covers (the rear cover is blank; the inside front cover contains reviews from the recent American 'Premiere in New York, At the Rialto, Broadway', where it opened on March 5). Top left-hand corner of the front cover very lightly marked, with two tiny surface chips; bottom right-hand corner of the entire magazine lightly creased and bent; staples slightly rusty; these trifling blemishes do not detract from this stunning copy of a very rare item.
The original program for the London premier season of the screening of 'Metropolis', the German expressionist masterpiece of silent film, directed by Fritz Lang. The screenplay was written by his then-wife Thea Von Harbou, based on her novel of the same name. 'The film combines the beautiful futuristic vision of the city, with dystopian scenes of technology gone awry, and dark, Expressionistic, and sometimes gothic imagery ... Only towards the end during the grand finale does the silent film acting and exaggeration become rather wearing, and unintentionally comical' (www.culturewars.org.uk). The film lived up to this program's hype: in 2001 it became the first one to be inscribed on UNESCO's Memory of the World Register.