Howard is infected with leprosy, Mac Allen was captured by the Maharadsha, and now the Maharadsha offers Irene a deal: one night for letting healing Howard. She accepts, but when she tries ... See full summary »
A German architect runs away with the maharajah of Eschnapur's fiancee but is caught and thrown in the dungeon, while his relatives arrive from Europe looking for him and the maharajah's brother is scheming to usurp the throne.
Back in India after what happened at first part Der Tiger von Eschnapur, Maharadscha Chandra is ready to carry on his well-planned vengeance, in which German architect Peter Fürbringer, his... See full summary »
The Buddhist priest wants the Daughter of the Daimyo to become a priestess at the Forbidden Garden. The Daimyo thinks if he were in Europe that his daughter should decide on her own, but he... See full summary »
Dr Eigil Borne is engaged to Hélène, a girl who is madly in love with him. At Hélène's birthday celebration, Eigil invites her to a cabaret, where he meets his other love, Lily, a passionate, fiery and funny dancer.
The Maharadscha vom Eschnapur hires a German architect to build a mausoleum. Burning with vengeance when he finds out his young wife has fallen for an adventurer he develops a deadly plan, ... See full summary »
An altruistic department-store owner hires ex-convicts in order to give them a second chance at life. Unfortunately, one of the convicts he hires recruits two of his fellow ex-convicts in a plan to rob the store.
Kay Hoog wants to stop the organisation "Die Spinnen" to get a certain diamond, that will give the owning woman the crown of Asia, but the man, who should be the owner of that diamond, ... See full summary »
"The Indian Tomb" asks knowledge of the mysterious magic forces that are special to the Indian penitents - Yogis. Laws of nature do not apply to the Yogi in the ecstasy of willpower, and it is said that he can even conquer death. The aspiration of the Indian penitent is to achieve Nirvana, the state of complete surrender. To achieve the highest purity by deadening all senses, the Yogis have themselves buried alive. If the Yogi is revived from this sleep of death, he must fulfill his awakener's ...
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A jealous & vindictive Rajah sends a powerful Yogi to entice a famous English architect into constructing a marvelous mausoleum in which to inter the prince's faithless wife.
THE Indian TOMB: THE MISSION OF THE YOGI is a perfect example of the grand German cinema epics created during the silent era. Berlin film mogul Joe May turned the full resources of his modern Maytown studio over to the production, using 300 workmen to create the lavish sets necessary to tell such an exotic tale.
May contracted with authoress Thea von Harbou to write the script for THE Indian TOMB, based on her 1917 novella. May assigned young Fritz Lang as her co-writer. Lang, who married von Harbou after starting the writing project, desired to direct the films, but he was deemed too inexperienced for such an important project by the financiers and May enthusiastically became the director himself. Furious, Lang left May's employ; it would be more than 35 years before he was able to direct his own Indian TOMB films.
THE Indian TOMB: THE MISSION OF THE YOGI was an artistic triumph, presenting wonderful vistas & sequences to delight the viewer's imagination. Right from the eerie prolog, when an Indian holy man is literally disinterred from his living grave, the film grips the audience with a promise of high adventure & mysticism. Further scenes, including those set in the Tiger Arena adjoining the Maharajah's Palace, or the Cave of the Penitents situated below it, add intricate strokes to the broad canvas which is THE Indian TOMB.
Conrad Veidt is mesmerizing as the troubled Rajah. With large, hypnotic eyes set in a bony face, he seems forever contemplating terrible memories. Veidt gives a measured, stylized performance, moving very slowly and deliberately, almost somnambulistic in his actions. The one short scene where he lets his longing & heartbreak push through to the surface is startling just from the sheer pent-up passion released for a few seconds - as if a mighty dam is breached and almost immediately sealed again.
Today, Conrad Veidt is remembered in America almost entirely for his villainous Major Strasser in CASABLANCA. This is a shame, as there was so much more to his life. Cultured & sophisticated, Veidt was considered to be one of the best (and one of the most handsome) actors in Germany, and he was a tremendous matinée idol in the 1920's. Later, he became courageously outspoken in his anti-Nazi sentiments and he found it safer to relocate to England and eventually to America. In Hollywood, Veidt continued to denounce the evils of the Third Reich. Tragically, he was not to live long enough to see the inevitable defeat of Hitler. Completing only one further film after CASABLANCA, Conrad Veidt died of a heart attack while playing golf on April 3, 1943. He was 50 years old.
Equally intriguing is Bernhard Goetzke as the mysterious, implacable Yogi. Imparting menace in every movement, he is a worthy henchman to the Rajah. Olaf Fønss as the architect & Mia May (the director's wife) as his courageous fiancée, present a refreshingly middle-aged view of romantic love.
The story was originally presented as a filmed diptych. THE Indian TOMB: THE MISSION OF THE YOGI (1921) was followed by THE Indian TOMB: THE TIGER OF BENGAL (1921). A box office disappointment in Germany & a failure in America, the films quickly passed into obscurity. However, down through the decades their reputations scored a renaissance. After much painstaking effort both films were archivally restored to their original luster. They have been released together on home video & DVD.
If only for the striking performance of Conrad Veidt the films would be significant. But their epic proportions & high adventure set in a remarkable culture are a window into the very best which German cinema had to offer in the 1920's.
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