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Fritz Lang's Indian Epic
Fritz Lang's Indian Epic
Actors: Debra Paget, Paul Hubschmid, Walter Reyer, Claus Holm, Luciana Paluzzi
Directors: Fritz Lang, Joe May
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Classics, Science Fiction & Fantasy
NR     2003     3hr 21min

Long dismissed as the last gasp of a great directing career, Fritz Lang's two-part saga of India needs to be rescued from cinema's dustbin. While it has clear limitations, notably the listless actors and shoddy special eff...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Debra Paget, Paul Hubschmid, Walter Reyer, Claus Holm, Luciana Paluzzi
Directors: Fritz Lang, Joe May
Creators: Richard Angst, Fritz Lang, Joe May, Artur Brauner, Thea von Harbou, Werner Jörg Lüddecke
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Classics, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House, Silent Films, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Studio: Fantoma
Format: DVD - Black and White,Color
DVD Release Date: 10/28/2003
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 3hr 21min
Screens: Black and White,Color
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 4
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English, German
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Movie Reviews

An Indiana Jones type Indian Adventure, 1960 style
Barbara (Burkowsky) Underwood | Manly, NSW Australia | 01/01/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"As a silent film enthusiast who has enjoyed the German 1921 silent film "The Indian Tomb", written by Fritz Lang and his then-wife Thea von Harbou, I was curious to see this 1959 version of the same story, this time directed by Fritz Lang himself. Although the story is essentially the same and the characters and plots are recognizable, Fritz Lang obviously did a lot of re-writing of the old 1921 screenplay to suit a much different 1959 audience, and I think he succeeded very well. While the original 1921 film is 3 ½ hours long with a more complex and sinister plot, the story has been reworked into two separate films, namely "The Tiger of Eschnapur" and "The Indian Tomb", and has all the hallmarks of a late 1950s, early 60s adventure epic. The quality of these two DVDs is simply excellent, and visually the films are already a delight, being filmed on location in the state of Rajasthan, India - in particular the city of Udaipur, famous for its magnificent palaces which also featured in the James Bond classic, "Octopussy". With real-life Mogul palaces and other striking Indian settings, Lang did not have to go to any great lengths to create a fantasy-like adventure world, not unlike modern-day Indiana Jones movies. Unlike Indiana Jones, however, the story in Lang's Indian Epic is serious: love, jealousy, revenge, intrigues in the royal family, schemes, lepers and a holy man with words of wisdom. The story moves along at a comfortable, steady pace with a good measure of suspense and unexpected turns, along with a nice dose of exotic - and erotic - dancing by Debra Paget. And although fake tigers are always mentioned in connection with "The Tiger of Eschnapur", I would not have noticed if I hadn't heard about it before, as there are plenty of good shots of real, live tigers, and I don't think a one or two second scene of a stuffed tiger or fake cobra should ruin a viewer's overall enjoyment of these two films.

While I would give the story and film quality a 4 ½ - star rating, I was so pleased with this box set in general, the notes on each film inside, the bonus photo gallery and in particular the option of the English-dubbed or original German version (with or without English subtitles) that I'm giving it the full 5 stars. For anyone who speaks German as I do, I'd like to point out that the German language spoken in these two films is absolutely top-class quality and a delight to hear. I'm sure anyone who enjoys 50s and 60s movies will be delighted by this box set and the restored full-length versions of both films (they were previously released in a much condensed version entitled "Journey to the Lost City") and for anyone who has enjoyed the silent 1921 version, this set would surely also be of interest to compare and have a nice change.
Yes, beautiful, but with one regrettable fault
H. M. Neely | Culver City, CA | 08/02/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This boxed set of DVDs does make a handsome package. However there is one fault which previous reviewers have missed. As they note, the color is vivid and the image is exceptionally sharp and clean. What a pity, then, that the film transfer colorist failed to note that many scenes are supposed to take place at night! These night scenes, with exteriors shot in the day-for-night mode, are all rendered in the bright colors of daylight. The error is in the timing of the film-to-tape transfer. It could have been fixed. Too bad!! In all other ways, this is an exceptional package."
I love Debra Paget!
Brian P. Nestor | North Carolina | 01/03/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Of course I love Fritz Lang, he was one of the great directors of the 20th century. This is pretty good if ocassionally the low budget peaks through on the sets. The location shooting in India is colorful and wonderful, though.

The great surprise is Debra Paget, an actress I had never paid attention to before. She is fabulous in the movies and her erotic dances, particularly in the second movie, are enough to cause the onset of puberty in a five year old. She is entirely convincing as an Indian princess.

I can recommend the movie for her performance and for the great Saturday afternoon matinee feel to these films. After all, Lang was one of the originators of the cliff hanger serial and this was a return to that style. Great fun!"
This is truly a masterpiece!
Dancing Ganesha | Bangalore, India | 08/20/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a lovely film, one of the best ever made. Although I was not a big fan of Lang's Dr. Mabuse, this movie truly is an epic and a classic, awash with beautiful sets, lavish sights and sounds, and a storyline that is just incredible. You will see many similarities to Indiana Jones here, and it's amazing how much the lead actor appears similar (physically) to Indiana Jones as well as in mannerisms. It even seems as if Spielberg must have had Harrison Ford study this original prototype for his own films. (Since Spielberg is the only Hollywood director with any talent, I'll cut him slack for allowing Lang's films to influence his own.) In sum, a wonderfully exotic film full of romance, mystery, and adventure, but as another reviewer noted, the only difference between the "Indiana Jones" films and Lang's is that the latter deals with serious topics. This film isn't merely a saccharine adventure, but a serious drama as well."