METROPOLIS. London: The Readers Library Publishing Company Ltd., n.d. . Small octavo, pp. [1-13] 14-250 [251: blank] [252: printer's imprint] [253-256: blank] [note: first and last leaves used as front and rear paste-downs], original decorated red-brown boards, front and spine panels stamped in gold. First edition in English. The first printing without mention of this title in list of Readers Library books on page . 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; (1995) 2-132; and (2004) II-1197. Bleiler, Science-Fiction: The Early Years 1040. Lewis, Utopian Literature, p. 198. Locke, A Spectrum of Fantasy, p. 104. Survey of Science Fiction Literature III, pp. 1383-86. Bleiler (1978), p. 93. Reginald 14733. See Bloch (2002) 1370. A fine copy in bright, very good first printing dust jacket (with wraparound illustration by Aubrey Hammond) that does not list METROPOLIS on the rear flap. There are a few tiny closed tears at lower edges of folds and 10x12 inch chip from lower edge of rear panel with loss of "gre" of "great" in last line. A lovely copy overall. (#162736).
No statement of printing.