[METROPOLIS PHOTOPLAY ARCHIVE]: METROPOLIS. ROMAN ... [first printing of the photoplay edition] with METROPOLIS. ROMAN... [second printing of the photoplay edition] with METROPOLIS. ROMAN ... [third printing of the photoplay edition]. With a German advertising herald for the film and a Fritz Lang signature. Berlin: August Scherl G.m.b.H., . Octavo, 3 volumes, each containing four inserted plates with eight film stills, all bound in their original wrappers. First, second and third printings of the German photoplay edition. The first three printings of the German photoplay edition. The first printing has the Willy Reimann illustration of Metropolis. The second and third printings use the now iconic Werner Graul illustration. The books are accompanied by a card inscribed and signed by director Fritz Lang: "Greetings / from / METROPOLIS / Fritz Lang" and the rare German advertising herald for the film (we have seen only one other copy offered for sale). METROPOLIS is a novelization of the screenplay written by Fritz Lang and Thea von Harbou for the 1926 UFA film. "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. Fisher, Fantasy and Politics: Visions of the Future in the Weimar Republic, pp. 126-37; 139-42. Lewis, Utopian Literature, p. 198. Survey of Science Fiction Literature III, pp. 1383-86. Bloch (2002) 1370. Nagl, p. 256. The first volume has some soiling to the spine and rear panels and mild shelf wear to edges; the second volume has light rubbing to edges; the third volume has some wear to spine ends, some edge rubbing and mild stress creases, and some tanning to the spine panel. All three volumes are very good condition. The archive is preserved in a custom cloth clamshell box. (#154608).