Fritz Lang’s Metropolis has never been just a movie — this hugely expensive epic created its own aesthetic, shocking and delighting audiences with its large-scale special effects, setting an impossibly high bar for science fiction films, and representing the cinematic apex of the German expressionist movement. The fact that remains as impressive today as it must have been when it premiered, in 1927, is the ultimate testament to its influence. So, what could be more fascinating than taking a peek behind the scenes of this classic? Retronaut tracked down a handful of photos from the set, to which we’ve added a few of our own finds, and they’re predictably fascinating. Some pictures find crew members working amid detailed, miniature city sets, while another finds Brigitte Helm being styled and fed while confined inside her Robot Maria costume. A bit of research suggests that these images were shot by Horst von Harbou, set photographer and brother-in-law to Lang; check them out after the jump.