The creation of Metropolis and its many versions is a fascinating story. Director Fritz Lang’s original cut of Metropolis was a financial flop and appeared in German theaters for only four months before it was pulled and recut.
The film premiered in Germany but was actually released to American theaters before it received a wide German release.
Strangely, American audiences never saw Fritz Lang’s edit of the film, since Paramount (the film’s American distributor) pre-emptively edited their version of the film.
If you get a chance, I highly recommend that you check out the 2010 documentary Voyage to Metropolis, about the many different versions of this film and its ultimate restoration in 2008 to an “original” version after the discovery of an old 16mm version of the film in Buenos Aires.
The Buenos Aires version is believed to be the closest to the original, with over 25 minutes more than any previously known edit, and Metropolis was released theatrically in 2010 with these additional (if badly scratched) scenes added.
I got to see the new cut two summers ago when it screened in Minneapolis and it really is gorgeous.
Just as different versions of this film are constantly resurfacing all around the world, I suspect different promotional materials — be they programs, magazines articles or movie posters — will continue to captivate historians and film fans hoping to learn more about how this classic piece of futurism was originally filmed and promoted.
In the case of this Science and Invention article the film was promoted to an audience interested in how science would be used in movie effects of the future.