Fritz Lang’s Indian Epic, Part I: The Tiger of Eschnapur
(Der Tiger von Eschnapur)
Debra Paget, Paul Hubschmid, Walther Reyer, Claus Holm,
A man-eating tiger, an entrancing temple dancer, a menacing maharajah: such are the thrills and perils encountered by a German architect in India in Fritz Lang’s two-part epic The Tiger of Eschnapur and The Indian Tomb. After decades of exile in Hollywood, Lang returned to Germany in 1958 to direct the films, working from a script that he and Thea von Harbou had originally developed in 1920. The result is part pulp serial, part formal experiment, a fantasia of flamboyant set pieces and exotic colors shown off to full effect in this recent restoration. In The Tiger of Eschnapur, architect Harald Berger (Paul Hubschmid) falls for dancer Seetha (Debra Paget), but he has competition from the local maharajah.