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Der Tiger von Eschnapur / Das indische Grabmal (Fritz Lang's Indian Epic) [Masters of Cinema] [DVD] 
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Fritz Lang returned to Germany on the eve of the 1960s to direct this enchanted penultimate work, a redraft of the diptych form pioneered in such silent Lang classics as Die Spinnen; Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler.; and Die Nibelungen. Although no encapsulating title was lent at the time of release to what is, effectively, a single 3-hour-plus film split in two, the work that has come to be referred to in modern times as "the Indian epic" (consisting of Der Tiger von Eschnapur and Das indische Grabmal) proved to be one of the legendary director's most adventurous achievements. It was also one of the most popular successes Lang was to experience in his native land. A German architect (Paul Hubschmid) is commissioned by an Indian maharaja (Walter Reyer) to construct a temple on his palatial grounds. After saving the life of a bewitching dancer (Debra Paget) on whom the maharaja has spousal designs, the pair are drawn into a hazardous maze of traps, perhaps the purest realisation of Lang's obsession with a labyrinthine 'house of traps' that is, Man challenging Fate. Like Lang's following final work Die 1000 Augen des Dr. Mabuse, the Indian epic charts new territory for the director, as it strikes out into the über-melodramatic tenor of his early silents while instigating the colours of his emulsion into adopting a lurid, sometimes gaseous palette. Arriving in the wake of The River (Renoir), India matri bhumi (Rossellini) and Black Narcissus (Powell & Pressburger), it also stands among the remarkable mid-century contributions of the greatest Western filmmakers who have explored India. SPECIAL TWO-DISC DVD EDITION INCLUDING: Beautiful, newly restored transfers of the films in their original 1.37:1 aspect ratio Two soundtracks: the native German-language track, and the English-language dubtrack made for overseas distribution Newly translated optional English subtitles New and exclusive feature-length audio commentaries, for both Der Tiger von Eschnapur and Das indische Grabmal, by film scholar David Kalat 20-minute documentary on the making of the Indian epic Three minutes of vintage 8mm footage shot on location by actress Sabine Bethmann The original French trailers for both Der Tiger von Eschnapur and Das indische Grabmal A lengthy booklet containing an essay on the films by Lang scholar Tom Gunning (The Films of Fritz Lang: Allegories of Vision and Modernity); excerpts from interviews with Fritz Lang about the film; and more!
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It consists of 2 separate films on 2 discs, The Indian Tomb, (aka The Tomb of Love) & The Tiger Of Eschnapur, & runs a total of 203 minutes. This appears to be the first UK dvd edition, & as the 2003 USA Image/Fantoma appears to have gone out of print (& sells for a fortune), this appears to be the only currently available edition aimed at the English speaking market.
For those who haven't seen it, here's a brief but useful description: Combine a 1950's high budget Hollywood epic with a 1940's poverty row serial, a truly international cast (with no a-list actors) & have Fritz Lang direct, & you've got the Indian Tomb! Fans of the above genres (50's Hollywood epics, 30's & 40's cliffhanger serials & Lang) will likely enjoy this, if you don't fall into any of the above you're probably not the target audience. In my opinion, (& I've now watched it 3 times, twice in the last week), this film's allure is the tremendous scenery, great sets & camera work, & easy to digest entertainment that tends to be of a bit higher quality than most similar Hollywood films of the time.
As far as the plot, a German architect has been dispatched to India to build hospitals for the Maharajah. On his way to the palace, he saves an Indian dancer from a Tiger attack & they are instantly smitten with one another. Unfortunately it turns out the reason she is also on the way to the palace is because the Maharajah has seen her dance & is also smitten with her.Read more ›
(now, alas closed)in the Louvre complex and that was in German and French and though I speak and understand some of both I didnt fancy trying to follow this in those languages, so was delighted to see it for sale on Amazon, and was so excited when I received it. Well, maybe I was just younger but it didnt grip me the way it did back then..worth seeing if you are a Fritz Lang fan though and the Debra Paget snake dance is fun.