On the Set of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1927)
Production of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis began on May 22, 1925 and ran until October 30, 1926.
That’s a long, grueling shoot by any measure, but Metropolis included some elaborate sets, a lot of complicated effects, and one very particular director. Shooting was particularly tough for Brigitte Helm, a young unknown at the time. She had this to say in a 1927 article, “The Maria of the Underworld of Youshiwara, and I“:
“The night shots lasted three weeks, and even if they did lead to the greatest dramatic moments–even if we did follow Fritz Lang’s directions as though in a trance, enthusiastic and enraptured at the same time – I can’t forget the incredible strain that they put us under. The work wasn’t easy, and the authenticity in the portrayal ended up testing our nerves now and then. For instance, it wasn’t fun at all when Grot drags me by the hair, to have me burned at the stake. Once I even fainted: during the transformation scene, Maria, as the android, is clamped in a kind of wooden armament, and because the shot took so long, I didn’t get enough air.”
There are a lot of riveting images in the film. As these images prove, there were a lot of riveting images just outside of the frame too. Have a look at these 22 production photos taken on the set of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis.