Der Tiger von Eschnapur (1959)

… and its sequel, Das Indische Grabmal, also 1959.

Fritz Lang made the visually stunning Metropolis in 1927. Over thirty years later, freed from the constraints of black and white and silence, he made two films, which are together known as ‘Fritz Lang’s Indian epic’. The second film was Das Indische Grabmal (‘The Indian Tomb’); the first was this one, Der Tiger von Eschnapur, or ‘The Tiger of Eschnapur’.

The story is basically the same as that of a film Lang had made even further back than Metropolis; in 1921, he had made Das Indische Grabmal, based on a book by his wife Thea von Harbou (who, as you’d recall, also wrote Metropolis). In the 1950s, Lang remade Das Indische Grabmal, this time cutting it into two parts. Both Der Tiger von Eschnapur and Das Indische Grabmal were released in 1959, and have been much acclaimed ever since.

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Anne of the Indies (1951)

What with having watched the Fearless Nadia-starrer Baghdad ka Jaadoo (‘Magic of Baghdad’) the other day, I was in the mood for more swashbuckling ladies. This film, starring Jean Peters as a pirate, seemed—at first glance—to fit the bill. It turned, or so it appeared, well-loved pirate film clichés on their heads: the pirate is a woman, and a heartless one at that, who delights in making innocent people walk the plank. And no, she isn’t a female Robin Hood, actually on the side of justice. She even—in a neat twist of the usual pirate film—captures a handsome man.

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