Posted by: ckckred | August 25, 2012

M vs. Metropolis: Which Fritz Lang movie is better?

I compare two of Fritz Lang’s films together

A few months ago I wrote a review for Metropolis.  About a week later I then wrote a review on M.  Ever since then I have always been arguing with myself which is Fritz Lang’s better work?  I explored that a bit at the end of my M review but I’d like to take some more time to discuss it.

Both films are great but are almost completely different.  Metropolis is a sprawling sci-fi picture with themes of class rebellion.  M is about a child killer who is hunted down by the police and the mob.

However, both movies do question the role of society.  As I stated before, Metropolis is about class warfare, and it couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time.  In the same year in Germany when Metropolis was made, Hitler rose up and the Nazis gained power.  Perhaps Metropolis was sort of a warning to this, that both classes could resolve their differences.  Surprisingly many Nazis actually liked the movie, leading Lang to openly criticize his work.

M also came out saying similar themes about classes.  The mob in M is seen through the eyes of society as the real authorities, not the actual police.  This took place when Germany was self-imploding after World War I.

But if I had to choose between the two, I would pick Metropolis.  The reason being is that I feel it is more influential in the history of cinema.  The tall sky scrapers and futuristic cars are similar to Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner.  Metropolis also has some really stunning scenes inside the factory (who could forget those hundreds of men turning levers).  Plus the movie is homaged throughout pop culture.  I remember that one Queen music video featured the band edited into the film.

I also felt that Metropolis moved a little quicker and felt more memorable, not that M isn’t.  Even if you haven’t seen or even heard of Metropolis, you probably do know about the giant Tower of Babel or the villainous robot disguised as Maria.

But which one do you think is better?



  1. Well, Metropolis is more influential, like you said, and I love how imaginative it is, but I’ve always been more entertained by M. Both movies seem like they were way beyond their time and both are great. However, I would usually choose to watch M over Lang’s two and a half hour silent film.

    • I’d like to watch M a second time to see what I think of it again. I wasn’t bored a second with M, which I enjoyed throughout, and I guess the length kind of hurts Metropolis. Still both are great films. Thanks for commenting.

  2. I think Metropolis is likely the more influential film, but I prefer M. It’s one of the most tense films of that era I have ever seen. Nice comparison!

    • Thanks! M is very tense, and I think I might watch it again within the next few weeks.

  3. Anyone who says “Metropolis” was more influential than “M” has no idea. There are countless techniques which are commonplace today but were first used in “M”. Every psychological thriller borrows from “M”.

    And “M” definitely is the much better movie.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: