Part gothic horror story, part science fiction romance, Metropolis presents a grim view of a futuristic city dominated by machines. Human energy is ruthlessly harnessed to benefit only the elitists who live above ground. The workers toil beneath the earth's surface working with monstrous machinery in ten hour shifts to keep the city alive. Amongst the workers who toil below is Maria who holds onto the memory of the world with a sun, flowers, birds and trees. She risks her life by giving clandestine lessons to the children of the workers so that the memory will never die and in the hope that someday freedom may soon be possible. Maria and her band of children briefly escape from the underground where she meets Steven, the son of the cruel leader of Metropolis. Steven does not share his father's vision of total power and has a conscience. Trouble ensues when Steven tries to help the workers angering his father and Professor Warner, who is working to dispose of the workers and replace them with robots. Numerous people die in the ensuing engagement. In the end Steven and Maria lead a successful revolt and the workers and children make it into the light as they make it out on to the city.