It was the early ’60s. I was in High School and two things were my top fantasies, the 1957 Chevrolet Nomad and girls’ breasts. Television was black and white and I was beginning to lose interest in the lure of an evening in the vast wasteland. There was so many things to do outside of television: girls, homework, folk music, girls, surfing, onion rings, girls, art movies, the Beach Boys, and of course, girls.
It was a time when I started to develop my television watching habits that I still practice today: pick out a show or two and enjoy them but don’t worry about all the crap you ignored while doing your homework or holding hands with girls.
For it’s day, Metropolis must have been seen with amazement. Shoot, any movie back then was pretty amazing but when you add the fantastical themes and settings of Metropolis, you are certainly in the land of make-believe.There was plenty of dystopian literature that preceded Metropolis (Erewhon comes to mind) but science fiction was fairly new. In fact, science itself was not fully accepted in the lives of many people and the type of speculation we now associate with science fiction was hardly separable from the early popularization of science and the promise of what science would bring to the lives of even the average citizens.
My father told me about his watching the movie Gone With the Wind projected on a white sheet while the viewers leaned or sat on the railings around the commissary on a warm summer night. I think he was in the Army Air Corps at the time but this may well be a memory jumble and he might have just returned from a successful day of catfish wrangling when growing up in Oklahoma. I saw Gone With the Wind one Saturday morning at a restored mega-cinema houses on Hollywood Boulevard—the Egyptian, perhaps—when the restored (recolored) edition was first-run in the mid-60s.
Nowadays GWTW has played many, many times on television and anyone can own their own copy of the DVD for only a few dollars.