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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Metropolis (1927)

As Samir pointed out in a comment on my last post, Pyaasa was one of the films (in fact, the only Hindi film) to find a place on Time Magazine’s all-time 100 best films list. That’s something Pyaasa shares in common with this film. Metropolis, a silent film made in Germany thirty years before Pyaasa, is also on the list. It was directed by Fritz Lang, who co-wrote the screenplay along with his wife Thea von Harbou. The result is a film like none other.

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