I was so excited to see that our local art house (The Esquire) was running the silent classic METROPOLIS. I've been waiting to see this restored version for a while now and never thought I'd see it on the big screen. I'm still waiting, unfortunately. When the lights went down at yesterday's showing, I was immediately aware that something was amiss. The picture filled the entire width of the screen. Yup, it had been masked for 1.85:1 and badly at that. There were entire sections of the film where all you saw was torsos because the heads had been entirely cut off. METROPOLIS is not one of those films that can be cropped and you won't notice. Fritz Lang filled the entire screen with wonderful visuals. The famous scene where young Freder watches the giant machine turn into a demon? You'd never know from this screening. The head of the demon was cut off. Pathetic. My friend George works for the Library of Congress Motion Picture Preservation Center. He drove down from Dayton to see the film with me and was as appalled as I was. He knows one of the men who worked for almost twenty years to restore METROPOLIS. Thankfully, he wrote the theater a letter expressing his displeasure. I doubt they'll fix it though. The choice of whether to see it cropped or not at all is a tough one, but if I were going back, I'd make sure that the manager knew that the print should be unmasked.