The Indian Tomb (2000) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Indian Tomb (2000)





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Fritz Lang wrote the script to this exotic epic adventure with the intention of directing it himself, but when producer Joe May (a pioneer of German silent cinema himself) read it, he nabbed it, and did the work proud. Conrad Veidt (the stalking somnambulist of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari) stars as a vengeful maharajah with a diabolical plot against his unfaithful wife and her haughty British lover. His plan involves a monumental tomb dedicated to his lost love, a spell-casting yogi (revived from his underground tomb in a riveting prologue), and a world-famous architect (Olaf Fonss), who is secretly whisked away to Bengal. Close behind is his fiancée Irene (Mia May, the director's wife and frequent star), who follows him to the maharajah's grand palace. With his piercing eyes and gaunt, hawklike face, Veidt cuts a majestic figure and makes a fascinating villain, his menace tempered with a haunted sense of sadness.Working with magnificent sets and simple but graceful special effects, May creates a sense of wonder and grandeur in the first half of the film, and then kicks it into high gear for a swiftly paced second half of deadly tiger pits, crocodile-infested moats, cliffhanger escapes, and mountaintop chases, straddling both high adventure and dramatic melancholy. The 3.5-hour production doesn't drag for a second. --Sean Axmaker


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