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Glossary and Character Taxonomy Breakdown by Country of Origin Bibliography Table of Contents The Best of the Encyclopedia
Rotwang, Dr. Dr. Rotwang was created by Fritz Lang (Kay Hoog, Lilith, Rama Singh) and Thea von Harbou and appeared in the German film Metropolis (1927).
Dr. Rotwang is a Mad Scientist. In the far-distant future of the 21st century the great city Metropolis is a technological wonder. However, the city has a problem: Maria, the daughter of a common worker, is preaching to other workers that they are being exploited and that “between the brain that plans and the hands that build, there must be a mediator.” Well, Joh Fredersen, the Master of Metropolis, can’t be having this kind of socialist nonsense be spouted to the workers, so Fredersen turns to the insane scientist and inventor Dr. Rotwang for help.
Dr. Rotwang shows Fredersen the solution: an android which can replace the workers. Rotwang creates an android in the form of Maria, with the goal of the android Maria whipping the workers into rebellion. After they are crushed, they will be replaced by robots. Maria is kidnaped and the android Maria is created, but the workers’ rebellion only creates chaos in the city, flooding the workers’ section of the city, and eventually Rotwang is killed and peace and comity between Management and Labor is achieved.
* I'm including Metropolis in the Best of the Encyclopedia list because it's a historically important film. The initial reaction to the film was underwhelming; even Fritz Lang thought that the film was stupid. But as time has passed critical opinions have changed, and now Metropolis is seen as one of the great films of the silent film era. One can't say that Dr. Rotwang was influential in the 1920s or 1930s as a Mad Scientist, but now he is the iconic film Mad Scientist of the 1920s. Despite the film's lack of immediate influence, its innate quality (those contemporary critics who found it silly stuff were stupidy buttheads) is so great that it simply must be included in the Best of the Encyclopedia list.
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