I recently looked the film over again, and I got the "Complete" Metropolis dvd
It is just an amazing film. http://www.scifiwright.com/2011/01/metropolis/
Fritz Lang himself fled Germany the same night he was offered a post by the Nazis in their new regime.
update: this bit about Fritz and the Nazis is not quite right....http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fritz_Lang
At the outbreak of World War I, Lang returned to Vienna and volunteered for military service in the Austrian army and fought in Russia and Romania, where he was wounded three times. While recovering from his injuries and shell shock in 1916, he wrote some scenarios and ideas for films.
At the end of 1932. Lang started filming The Testament of Dr. Mabuse
. Adolf Hitler came to power in January 1933, and by March 30, the new regime banned it as an incitement to public disorder
. Testament is sometimes deemed an anti-Nazi film as Lang had put phrases used by the Nazis into the mouth of the title character.
Whereas Lang was worried about the advent of the Nazi regime, partly because of his Jewish heritage
, his wife and screen writer Thea von Harbou had started to sympathize with the Nazis in the early 1930s and joined the NSDAP in 1932. They soon divorced. Lang's fears would be realized following his departure from Austria, as under Nazi eugenics laws he would be identified as a Jew even though his mother was a converted Roman Catholic
, and he was raised as such.
Shortly afterwards, Lang left Germany but the circumstances of his emigration remain controversial
: According to Lang, propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels called Lang to his offices to inform him that The Testament of Dr Mabuse was being banned but that he was nevertheless so impressed by Lang's abilities as a filmmaker (especially Metropolis), he was offering Lang a position as the head of German film studio UFA. Lang had been, unbeknownst to Goebbels, already planning to leave Germany for Paris, but the meeting with Goebbels ran so long that the banks were closed by the time it finished, and Lang fled that night without his money, not to return until after the war.
This account is problematic as many portions cannot be verified, while those that can, run counter to other evidence: Lang actually left Germany with most of his money, unlike most refugees, and made several return trips later in the same year. There were no witnesses to the meeting besides Goebbels and Lang, but Goebbels's appointment books, when they refer to the meeting, mention only the banning of Testament. No evidence has been discovered in any of Goebbels's writings to affirm the suggestion that he was planning to offer Lang any position. Jean-Luc Godard's film Contempt (1963), in which Lang appeared as himself, presents a bare outline of the story as fact.
Whatever the details, Lang did in fact leave Germany in 1934 and moved to Paris
. after his marriage to Thea von Harbou, who stayed behind, ended in 1933
In 1932, a year before Adolf Hitler came to power, she joined the National Socialist German Workers (Nazi) Party
, which presumably led to the divorce from Lang, who left Germany in 1934 for Paris after his film The Testament of Dr. Mabuse had been banned by the Nazi government. Fritz Lang's mother, although religiously a convert to Catholicism, was of Jewish extraction
(see The Religious Affiliation of Director Fritz Lang).
In 1934, she wrote a cinematic adaptation of Gerhart Hauptmann's play The Assumption of Hannele, which she also directed.
Harbou wrote the script for Der Herrscher (1937
), directed by Veit Harlan and starring Emil Jannings. The movie celebrates unconditional submission under absolute authority, eventually finding reward in total victory