The Tiger of Eschnapur - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Tiger of Eschnapur Reviews

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Super Reviewer
August 15, 2014
Fritz Lang does a B-movie.
January 26, 2014
The first of two films by Fritz Lang that tells the story of a European architect named Harold Berger who is summoned by the local Indian king Maharaja Chandra to build schools and hospitals. Chandra is obsessed about the beautiful dancer Seetha, who becomes attached to Berger on their journey to Eschnapur because Berger saves her from a tiger. What I appreciated most was the exuberant visuals; the sets, locations, costumes, props, etc. showcasing a stereotypical view of India. Originally supposed to be in German, I had a English dubbing which was quite off as the voices didn't perfectly go along with the lips. Almost every actor in the film is non-Indian, disguised by black paint. It was a bit awkward for me to see every "Indian" speak in perfect English, but I went along with it. The main reason it's a disappointment is that it's a very feeble adventure. Lang fails in building great suspense and action; we see specific situations build up, but they're never really explored such as secret passageways or the tiger hunts, we only get a glimpse of what could have been. The story is acceptable as a triangular romance, but again it doesn't seem like Lang put that much effort in developing it. I can't deny it being a unique experience though.
½ November 7, 2012
At the end of his career, Fritz Lang returned to Germany and made this two-part film that harkens back to the serials of yore. A Canadian architect visits Indian to help out a Maharajah who wishes to build hospitals and schools but is suffering political problems because he has fallen in love with a dancer and his brother wants to usurp his throne. Of course, the architect also falls for the dancer and this causes trouble. Shot in color with some striking sets, but badly dubbed and badly acted. The story feels stretched...I looked at the clock and realized that the plot would The Indian Tomb.
September 8, 2012
It has some beautiful color and seems a clear forerunner to Temple of Doom. However, it's also quite draggy for some pretty long stretches.
½ January 12, 2012
What you'll take home from it:
-India is secretly filled with Irish people, or leprechauns.
-Every temple has its hidden treasures, and lepers.
-American architects can outwit a pack of tigers better than anyone trained in any profession, including zoology.
-If your lost in a desert and dying of fatigue and dehydration, you should give your horse (who will die much sooner than you) a portion of the canteen of water your carrying so that you can feel better about its misfortune before you shoot and kill it.
½ July 26, 2011
Recommended for children and D&D players everywhere.
November 12, 2010
"Der Tiger von Eschnapur" is the perfect example that a bad screenplay and bad acting can be filmed in an extraordinary beautiful way. The movie has a slow screenplay, with little thrills, little interest, little appeal, but everything is lavish about it, the colour is intense and beautiful, the cinematography excels, the set and costume design are fabulous, and the directing top notch. Yet all this cannot hide the fact that the movie, as a story, has very little to offer. It is perhaps surprising to know that the director of this is the great Fritz Lang, in one of his last outings as a director (he would notably star in Godard's "Le Mepris" in 1963). He, off course, revolutionized cinema in the 20s and 30s in Germany with such as "Metropolis", "M", or the Mabuse series, and later, in the 40s and 50s, in Hollywood he made noir pictures such as "Fury", "Woman in the Window", "The Secret Beyond the Door" or "The Big Heat", all very good. But in the end of the decade, back in Germany and with a declining career, and before a last Mabuse picture in 1960, he made a 2-part movie set in India, the first "Der Tiger von Eschnapur" and the second âDas indische Grabmalâ?. These movies were released in america as âJourney to the Lost City", in a highly cut version (two 90 min films cut into only one of 90 min!). A caravan goes through the forest headed for the city of Eschnapur. An architect (Paul Hubschmid, a stiff most of the time) is going there at the request of the Maharadjaj (Walter Reyer), to introduce european techniques to the city. A pity that Eschnapur is shown as a beautiful city, perfect, with sumptuous locations, fountains and gardens, so why they need an European architect is beyond me. The caravan also has a dancer, Debra Paget (who had stared in "The Ten Commandments"), the woman who is the center of the story. She was seen by the Maharadjaj, who instantly fell in love with her, and so sent to his palace. Basically the plot is that he, always kind and giving her jewels, wishes to engage her love, and often says he doesn't want to force her and that she is free. But when she falls for the architect (and vice-versa), the Maharadjaj becomes jealous and so a bad guy, wanting to kill them both, involving tigers and pagan rituals, etc, etc. There is also the Maharadjaj's council who are against the girl because they think she will lead the Maharadjaj to a bad track, and so try to kidnap her, and the always present maid of the dancer, beautiful Luciana Paluzzi, in an early performance of her career, where she says only "yes" and "no" most of the time. There are also some secret underground passages, tiger fights, and a stupid back story for the girl (probably elaborated in the book), and little more. The only thing really interesting is the dance Debra Paget makes when she reaches the palace. Fabulous! The movie reminded me of those action/exotic adventures of the 30s, such as "The Mummy", "Tarzan" or "King Kong", where the screenplay was lame but it was a slow build up to the real surprise, twist or horror the movie would show. But here, in the 1950s, or to audiences today, this does not work. The lame dialog becomes lamer, and there is really nothing the screenplay is building up to. No tension, no clever thing, no surprise. Actually the surprise comes in the end, and the lovers are left abruptly, but with so little finesse that there is no real anticipation to see their fate in the second movie. But actually I am anticipating to see it, hoping to prove myself wrong. No surprise for me when I found that this was based on a Thea von Harbou's novel (she wrote Metropolis and M back in the 20s), and that the movie had been done in the 20s and 30s. The movie would work then. Not like this. Probably most of the plot of the book was left out, and what is given to us is beautiful pictures without content. As an independent movie this is a clear disappointment. As a build up to a second it might work, but leaves little interest to see it. The technic of this one is fantastic. The story is just clearly not up to the test of time.
½ September 25, 2010
Beautiful color & stunning cinematography; sluggish pace & ludicrous script.
½ September 1, 2010
As a late Fritz Lang adventure tale, this fares a bit better than Moonfleet. The characters are more engaging, and although the adventure elements are sometimes a bit lackluster, there are a few great serials-inspired moments. Most noteworthy is the breathtaking eye candy. Lavish sets and lush colors that leap off the screen, it's quite a beautiful film. However, the exoticism is often cringe-worthy, as Lang indulges in one embarrassing India cliché after another.
August 17, 2009
Long before Lord of the Rings and Grindhouse, Fritz made multi-release films, here a boy's own tale of exoticism and derring do in the East. Clearly this is a very Eurocentric take on The Orient, and made with no contomporary insight into ploitics, but a dashed exciting tale all the same. After a bit of a slow start the picture pops into life about halfway. Great line: "It is indeed flattery for our Indian hospitality that you dare forget yourself so easily". Worth a go, and I wish I had the sequel
March 22, 2008
e mettelmässege film mam rené deltgen
February 8, 2008
I love Fritz Lang, and this is just a good 1950's adventure film.
December 13, 2007
I remember watching this movie in loop as a child. I watched it once a day, sometimes more. It's brilliant aesthetic and spotless cinematography appealed to me along with superb erotic exoticism. A bit Tintin with girls in it. I believe that, until now, this very movie still created what still remains a huge part of my artistic sensitivity.
½ October 30, 2007
This movie is fascinating and very beautiful. It is a great Fritz Lang movie!
October 16, 2007
L'histoire n'est franchement pas terrible, mais le film atteint un tel sommet esthétique qu'il ne peut laisser de marbre. On y sent un Lang reposé, qui se laisse (re)séduire par l'un de ses tout premiers projets, et qui nous raconte tel un vieux sage un innocent conte pour enfant. Tout y est sublime.
July 5, 2007
Un classique de mon enfance. Vous vous souvenez, c'est le film qui passait toujours durant le temps des Fêtes à Télé-Québec, après les Ciné-Cadeaux...
½ June 13, 2007
Un ancien projet de Fritz Lang, où l'érotisme et l'orientalisme, les couleurs vives, ecartent Lang de ses débuts expressionnistes.
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