Indian Tomb, The
Starring the legendary Conrad Veidt and written by Fritz Lang, Joe May's spectacular The Indian Tomb is considered by critics to be one of the greatest cinematic epics of all time. Made in Germany, this lavish two-part adventure thriller takes place in an atmospheric India of romantic imagination, replete with elaborate templates and palaces, mystical yogis and dancing girls, roaring tigers and hissing cobras.
Ayan (Veidt), the powerful Maharajah of Eschnapur, has lost his beloved wife, the beautiful Princess Savitri, to the dashingly handsome British officer MacAllan. In his fury, Ayan plots to destroy MacAllan and construct a massive tomb to his perished love where Savitri is to be imprisoned for eternity. He sends the yogi Ramigani on a secret mission to hire the famous British architect Herbert Rowland. Prior to his departure, Ramigani prophesies that revenge will set off a catastrophic and deadly chain of events that will destroy the prince's life. And so begins a roller coaster ride of tense climaxes and fabulous story lines that include sexual extortion, man-eating tigers, sensual festivals, and heroic chases across crocodile-infested waters.
The Indian Tomb features a fantastic star-studded cast, topped by the legendary Conrad Veidt, who has a field day as the charismatic, sadistic Maharajah. The great Danish matinee idol Olaf Fonss (star of August Blom's 1913 Atlantis and the antihero of the German series Homunculus) stars as Rowland the architect. Mia May, the director's wife and star of many of his silent films, is featured as the hapless Irene. Paul Richter, who will be forever remembered as Siegfried, hero of Lang's Die Nibelungen, is the dashing MacAllan. Bernhard Goetzke, featured in many Lang films, received special praise from contemporary critics as Ramigani the Yogi. Lya De Putti (Mirrjha) went on to star in Dupont's classic Variety.