After more than two decades of exile in Hollywood, master filmmaker Fritz Lang triumphantly returned to his native Germany to direct a lavish two-part serialized cliffhanger from a story he co-authored almost forty years earlier: 1959’s THE TIGER OF ESCHNAPUR and THE INDIAN TOMB, which together would become known as FRITZ LANG’S INDIAN EPIC.
A cinematic link between the classic silent serials and the modern action/adventures of Indiana Jones and The Mummy, FRITZ LANG’S INDIAN EPIC was the director’s penultimate work. Operating outside the Hollywood system and given more freedom and resources than he had seen in years, Lang returned to remake the exotic adventure The Indian Tomb, which he originally helped to pen in 1921 but didn’t have the opportunity to direct himself. With breathtaking location shoots, a large international cast, elaborate sets and a jungle’s worth of danger and treachery, Lang crafted a blend of evocative images and montage that, in the twilight of his career, once again proved him a virtuoso of film form.
In THE TIGER OF ESCHNAPUR, Western architect Harold Berger (Paul Hubschmid), called to India by Chandra, the Maharaja of Eschnapur, falls in love with the beautiful temple dancer Seetha (Debra Paget), although she is promised to the Maharaja. Their betrayal ignites the wrath of a vengeful Chandra, who is fighting his own battle for power with his scheming half-brother, Ramigani, leading to the lovers’ daring escape into the desert.
In Part Two, THE INDIAN TOMB, the doomed lovers are rescued by sympathetic desert villagers, only to be later given up for ransom. Seetha is captured and sent back to Eschnapur, where she must perform a death-defying (and famouosly erotic) temple dance to prove her innocence. Meanwhile, Ramigani incites a revolt against the Maharaja and uses both Berger and Seetha as pawns in his plot to seize the throne.
Initially released in America as Journey to the Lost City, a radically condensed 90-minute version, these exotic masterpieces are finally presented in all their original splendor, featuring over 3 hours of breathtaking cinematography and cliff-hanging suspense, in this new 4K restored edition.
- Audio commentaries by film historian David Kalat
- The Indian Epic documentary
- “Debra Paget, For Example”, a video essay by filmmaker Mark Rappaport
- 20-page booklet with an essay by film scholar Tom Gunning