Martin Skidmore says:

It seems a bizarre claim after almost 80 years of technical improvements and the fabulous special effects we have now, but this might well still be my favourite SF movie. I guess we haven’t had so many sci-fi flicks directed by the world’s very best directors, which I think Fritz Lang was among.

I know I’m surrounded by ’80s pop fans here (and I kind of like Moroder myself), but I’ve never managed to sit through the colourised one with the ’80s soundtrack – I turn the sound off and the colour right down. This isn’t at all about authenticity or ur-texts, it’s about disliking the additions. Also, there are few silent fims less in need of a new soundtrack, in that there is, often and impressively, a visual soundtrack – Lang shows us marching feet and steam whistles, and creates a strong illusion of sound which is not helped by the music, and tinting has never improved anything that I’ve seen.

It’s a titanic film in every way, with tens of thousands of extras, a magnificent Modernist city design, and a story (by Lang’s wife, Thea Von Harbou) that makes its science seem more like magic, and that almost conflates its rather heavy handed political ideas (capitalists and workers) with religion. Brigitte Helm is tremendous as the little rich girl and the robot, but it’s mostly a spectacular treat, a film of moments and scenes and direction rather than something that comes together completely successfully.

Pete Baran says:

I did manage to sit through the Moroder version and think that for about a week in 2043 it will be hailed as a work of genius, reimagining Lang as the director of the best video to the worst eighties NOW! compilation ever. I am not sure if you can even buy it any more though, which makes me a little bit sad. As an attempt at one culture to colonise another to hopefully lead the kids into a brand new appreciation of the classic it was almost completely useless. But as Martin says, you can watch it with the colour off, and the sound down. Should cultural revisionism knock out Moroder’s folly in favour of Lang’s masterpiece? Let’s hope not.

And that robot’s hottt!