The 10 Greatest Fictional Cities of Film & Literature

fictional-cities (Image: low resolution screenshot via YouTube)

Since the dawn of fiction, writers have loved creating their own cities. Plato did it, Jonathon Swift, Italo Calvino and Angela Carter all tried their hand at it, and Stephen King currently spends his twilight years expanding the legacy of Castle Rock – the quiet town at the epicentre of his creeptastic universe. Some of them, like Gotham City, are masterpieces of mood. Others, like the London of 1984, give us a sideways look at our own twisted world. Here are ten of the greatest fictional cities ever conceived:

Metropolis (Metropolis)

metropolis-fritz-lang (Images: via WikipediaKarl Freund, Günther Rittau, Walter Ruttmann)

If New York had been designed by a tag-team of pulp cover artists, Babylon’s chief architect and Donald Trump, it might look something like Metropolis. In this monument to greed and exploitation, the richest citizens live high above the Earth – while far below faceless workers are sacrificed to the city’s roaring furnaces. By colliding hard-edged futurism with ancient myth, Fritz Lang created cinema’s first great city. Biplanes and skyscrapers exist side by side with Biblical towers. In the decadent Yoshiwara district, local playboys act like they’re witnessing the fall of Rome; while in grimy underground caverns, surly workers plot revolution. Grand, complex and overwhelming, Metropolis is the template for modern dystopias.



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