First Appeared: Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927)
Founding Father: Fritz Lang and Thea von Harbou
Notable Residents: Freder, Maria, the Sexy Robot
Metropolis is the most expensive silent film ever made, clocking in at 5 million Reichsmark ($15 million today). And it wasn't so because of the outrageous contract fees of its actors. The city of Metropolis is a marvel to this very day. Its tower of Babel (based on a Brueghel painting) is a piece of artwork on its own, not to mention the iconinc M-Machine with its dastardly clock-hand controls that make the workers dance while they work (and also probably somehow caused Devo), which morphs into the volcano monster, Moloch, who accepts workers as sacrifices. Every set of the film is gorgeous, from the pump room to the catacombs where Maria gives her empowering speech to the skyscrapers where Freder's father ruthlessly rules. This is the foundation for every dystopian film to come.