Saturday, 11 June 2011


Fritz Lang had originally been set to direct these stories written by his wife Thea Von Harbou very early in his career but the project was effectively stolen from his by his producer Joe May. By the time it was remade in 1938 Lang was already in Hollywood. In the late Fifties he was lured back to Germany to finally tackle the project himself. A huge production, THE TIGER OF ESCHNAPUR and its companion film THE INDIAN TOMB is essentially a load of old nonsense about plots and counter plots in a Maharajah's palace and a love triangle featuring a prince, a beautiful dancing girl and a German architect. The plot is silly beyond belief with a man wrestling a stuffed tiger, Indian gods, evil priests, murder, tiger hunts, elephants, torture, chases, caves etc. It is also wonderfully entertaining because Lang is intelligent enough to treat his comic book material seriously and straight-faced without pretension and, more importantly, without condescension. Blessed with beautiful Hollywood star Debra Paget, Lang makes good use of her and the actress certainly works for her money. The two dance routines are tremendous with the one in THE INDIAN TOMB featuring a near naked Miss Paget in a way that I doubt would have been allowed in her native American productions at the time. Hero work is adequately handled by Paul Hubschmid. Now restored and released on DVD with some nice extras and a 40 page booklet, the films together offer three and a half hours of great, if undemanding, entertainment. A must for Lang fans. Rating ****

Debra shakes her booty

1 comment:

Cerpts said...

Sounds absolutely fascinating! And any chance I get to see Debra Paget! Va-va-va-voom!