The inventor (Rudolf Klein-Rogge) admiring his creation (Brigitee Helm).

On this day in 1927, Fritz Lang’s extraordinary film “Metropolis” was first shown in the US. “Metropolis” can claim to be the first feature length science fiction film. Set in 2026 (so we still have 9 years to get it right!) the film’s actress Brigitte Helm plays the heroine Maria as well as her robot doppelganger, with the robot’s creation creating one of the most iconic images in cinema history.  

Lang appears to have been both a tyrant and a perfectionist in getting the film he wanted. Legend has it that he half drowned and totally froze his crowd of Berlin extras and his insistence on using real fire led to Helm’s dress actually catching fire in the scene in which she was burned at the stake!