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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka 'Tiger of Bengal" or "La Tigre di Eschnapur" or "Le Tigre du Bengale')

 

(aka 'Il Sepolcro indiano" or "The Indian Tomb')

http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film/direct-chair/lang.htm
USA 1994

 

Fritz Lang returned to Germany on the eve of the 1960s to direct this enchanted penultimate work, a redraft of the diptych form pioneered in such silent Lang classics as Die Spinnen; Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler.; and Die Nibelungen. Although no encapsulating title was lent at the time of release to what is, effectively, a single 3-hour-plus film split in two, the work that has come to be referred to in modern times as “the Indian epic” (consisting of Der Tiger von Eschnapur and Das indische Grabmal) proved to be one of the legendary director’s most adventurous achievements. It was also one of the most popular successes Lang was to experience in his native land.

A German architect (Paul Hubschmid) is commissioned by an Indian maharaja (Walter Reyer) to construct a temple on his palatial grounds. After saving the life of a bewitching dancer (Debra Paget) on whom the maharaja has spousal designs, the hero is pulled ever deeper into a hazardous maze of traps, perhaps the purest realisation of Lang’s obsession with a labyrinthine ‘house of death’ – that is, Man challenging Fate.

Like Lang’s following final work Die 1000 Augen des Dr. Mabuse, the Indian epic charts new territory for the director, as it strikes out into the über-melodramatic tenor of his early silents while inciting the colours of the emulsion into adopting a lurid, sometimes gaseous palette. Arriving in the wake of The River (Renoir), India matri bhumi (Rossellini), and Black Narcissus (Powell & Pressburger), Lang’s Indian epic stands among the remarkable mid-century contributions of Western filmmakers who have contemplated India.

***

After more than two decades of exile in Hollywood, master filmmaker Fritz Lang triumphantly returned to his native Germany to direct this lavish two-part adventure tale from a story he co-authored almost forty years earlier. Called to India by the Maharajah of Eschnapur, architect Harald Berger (Paul Hubschmid) falls in love with beautiful temple dancer Seetha (Debra Paget), who is promised to the Maharajah. Their betrayal ignites the ruler's wrath, and the lovers are forced to flee into the desert for a series of spectacular adventures. Featuring breathtaking location photography and nail-biting suspense, this epic is highlighted by Paget's erotic temple dance, a battle to the death with a man-eating tiger, sandstorms, a cave of lepers, and a bloody palace rebellion. Together these films provide a cinematic link between classic silent serials and the modern action thrills of Indiana Jones and The Mummy. Previously available in America as "Journey to the Lost City," a radically condensed 90-minute version, these exotic masterpieces are presented in this 2-disc boxed set newly restored to their original splendor.

Posters

NOTE: "Journey to the Lost City" (bottom row) was the US condensed 90 minute version of the two films.

Theatrical Release: March 5th, 1959

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Comparison:

Image / Fantoma - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC vs. Film Movement - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

1) Image / Fantoma - Region 0 - NTSC LEFT
2) Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Film Movement - Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

Box Cover

  

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Image Entertainment / Fantoma - Region 0 - NTSC Masters of Cinema - Spine # 106-107 Region 0 - NTSC Film Movement - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:40:33  / 1:41:18        1:40:36 / 1:41:18   1:40:56.717 / 1:41:41.970
Video 1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.92 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.46 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 8.12 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.33:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 7.66 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

The Tiger of Eschnapur: 1.33:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 33,743,369,181 bytes

Feature: 31,553,875,968 bytes

Video Bitrate: 36.98 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

The Indian Tomb: 1.33:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 41,978,281,782 bytes

Feature: 31,791,765,504 bytes

Video Bitrate: 36.98 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate The Tiger of Eschnapur:

Bitrate The Tiger of Eschnapur:

Bitrate The Indian Tomb:

Bitrate The Indian Tomb:

Bitrate The Tiger of Eschnapur Blu-ray:

Bitrate The Indian Tomb Blu-ray:

Audio German (Dolby Digital 2.0) , DUB: English (Dolby Digital 2.0)  German (Dolby Digital 2.0) , DUB: English (Dolby Digital 2.0)

LPCM Audio German 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

Dolby Digital Audio English 448 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps

Subtitles English, None English, None English, None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Image Entertainment / Fantoma

Aspect Ratio:
 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• Photo gallery

• 6-page liner notes with essay by Tom Gunning

DVD Release Date: February 11th, 2003

Keep Case
Chapters: 16

Release Information:
Studio: Masters of Cinema

Aspect Ratio:
 1.33:1

Edition Details:

• New and exclusive feature-length audio commentaries, for both Der Tiger von Eschnapur and Das indische Grabmal, by film scholar David Kalat
• 20-minute documentary on the making of the Indian epic
• Three minutes of vintage 8mm footage shot on location by actress Sabine Bethmann
• The original French trailers for both Der Tiger von Eschnapur and Das indische Grabmal
• A lengthy booklet containing an essay on the films by Lang scholar Tom Gunning (The Films of Fritz Lang: Allegories of Vision and Modernity); excerpts from interviews with Fritz Lang about the film; and more!

DVD Release Date: April 18th, 2011

Chapters: 16

Release Information:
Studio:
Film Movement

 

The Tiger of Eschnapur: 1.33:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 33,743,369,181 bytes

Feature: 31,553,875,968 bytes

Video Bitrate: 36.98 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

The Indian Tomb: 1.33:1 1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 41,978,281,782 bytes

Feature: 31,791,765,504 bytes

Video Bitrate: 36.98 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• Audio commentaries by film historian David Kalat,
• The Indian Epic documentary (21:03 - German with English subtitles)
• Trailer Tiger of Eschnapur (1:03)
• Trailer for The Indian Tomb (1:03)
• Debra Paget, For Example video essay by Mark Rappaport (36:37)
• 20-page booklet with an essay by film scholar Tom Gunning


Blu-ray Release Date:
December 10th, 2019
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 13 / 13

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Film Movement Blu-ray (November 2019): Film Movement have transferred Fritz Lang's Indian Epic to 2 dual-layered Blu-ray discs with max'ed out bitrates. These are cited as being from "4K Restorations".

NOTE: 76 more full resolution (1920 X 1080) Blu-ray captures for Patrons are available HERE.

Firstly, to get this out of the way; there is a German Blu-ray, HERE, but we do not own to compare. I have the French Wild Side Blu-ray version and despite the menu stating an English audio option ("Anglais"), it, indeed does not have one nor English subtitles only German and a French DUB for audio and optional French subtitles.. See the menu here (click to enlarge)

As for the Film Movement, we compared two captures with the Wild Side and the US version is significantly superior in regards to the visuals and showing more information in the frame.

The 1080P may be a bit underwhelming to some, only because the previous DVDs were reference quality for their time. The colors are paler, but consistent and this too has more information in the frames than the SDs. I can't speak to the accuracy of the colors but I can tell you it looked amazing on my system. Just as jaw-dropping as the DVDs were 15-years ago. The Tiger of Eschnapur looks the best of the two in terms of quality although The Indian Tomb may have the more lush visuals. AS I say, both looked extraordinary on my OLED.

Now, there were some anomalies that I recall on the DVDs as well. At 37-minutes, 58:17 as well of The Tiger of Eschnapur, and about 1/2 hour into the Indian Tomb. It looks like the original sequences were damaged and replaced. I can't be sure, but the brief disparity is worth noting. Here are some samples; 

(click to enlarge)

Something else I noticed more in HD were the visibility of some effects and make-up, Below is an example of a wire, holding the. very fake looking. snake, such is the power of this high resolution:

see wire (click to enlarge)

On their Blu-ray, Film Movement use 2.0 channel linear PCM mono tracks (24-bit) in the original German language only - no English DUBs present. It is another advancement in the film's audio and score on The Tiger of Eschnapur was credited by Michel Michelet (Douglas Sirk's Lured, Renoir's Diary of a Chambermaid, Arthur Ripley's The Chase, Joseph Losey's M) and on The Indian Tomb credited to Gerhard Becker. The ritualistic dancing numbers showed the superiority of the audio as well as tiger growls and other effects. The DUBbing, when used, is apparent. Film Movement offer optional English subtitles on their Region 'A' Blu-ray.

The Film Movement Blu-ray offer the same (I think they are the same, although don't recall hearing some information regarding brown-face make-up and tigers in the wild) audio commentaries, for both Der Tiger von Eschnapur and Das indische Grabmal, by film scholar David Kalat and the 20-minute German documentary on the making of the Lang's Indian Epic. I enjoyed Debra Paget, For Example a 36-minute video essay by Mark Rappaport in 2016. It's a portrait of American actress and dancer Debra Paget, under contract for 20th-Century Fox during the 1950's. Also there are short restoration trailers for both films and the package has a 20-page booklet with an essay by film scholar Tom Gunning (author of The Films of Fritz Lang: Allegories of Vision and Modernity).

Even with a few reservations (would have liked the English DUB) it's a film package I am thrilled to own in English-friendly Blu-ray. Fritz Lang's young-lad pulpy adventure yarns are delightful fodder for this reviewer. I almost can't wait for a cold rainy Sunday, fireplace roaring, to re-watch these beauty-soaked gems.

Gary Tooze

ADDITION: Masters of Cinema - (April 2011): We shouldn't have to say too much. There doesn't appear to be any differences in the, still, excellent video quality. It remains incredibly impressive visually - the top tier of the SD format showing excellent colors and even some depth uncharacteristic of that format.

Audio offers the original German (defaults to) and the English DUB made for overseas distribution. There are optional English subtitles - again, not DUB-titles. The English credit sequence is an option.

Aside from the fact that the out-of-print Fantoma is asking exorbitant prices by third party sellers - the MoC offers fabulous commentaries by David Kalat, a 20-minute documentary (German with English subtitles) on the 'Making of...' The Indian Epic, 3 minutes of vintage 8mm footage shot on location by actress Sabine Bethmann plus original French trailers for both Der Tiger von Eschnapur and Das indische Grabmal and lastly a lengthy booklet containing an essay on the films by Lang scholar Tom Gunning (The Films of Fritz Lang: Allegories of Vision and Modernity); excerpts from interviews with Fritz Lang about the film etc.

Magnificent! - Masters of Cinema have done it again - the easiest DVD purchase of the year!

***

ON THE FANTOMA: Admittedly my memory is not what it used to be, but I suggest to you that this is the best image of a film on DVD pre-1960 that I can recall in recent reviewing. It is flawlessly sharp with bursting colors (that tiger capture below looks like it might jump right off the screen!). Seamlessly branched after the initial credits to show the same film with optional original German or English dubbed audio. NOTE: the DUB and English subtitles do not match. We of course suggest the original (mostly) German audio. Extras include a digital photo gallery with behind-the-scenes shots and posters. out of

NOTE: This Boxset is 'unavailable' in many Online locations. I wouldn't delay - it will fetch big bucks very soon.

Gary W. Tooze

 


Image / Fantoma - Region 0 - NTSC

 

 

Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC

 

 

Film Movement - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Film Movement - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

The Tiger of Eschnapur

 

1) Image / Fantoma - Region 0 - NTSC TOP
2) Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC SECOND

3) Wild Side (France) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray THIRD

4) Film Movement - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Image / Fantoma - Region 0 - NTSC TOP
2) Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC SECOND

3) Wild Side (France) - Region 'B' - Blu-ray THIRD

4) Film Movement - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Image / Fantoma - Region 0 - NTSC TOP
2) Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Film Movement - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Image / Fantoma - Region 0 - NTSC TOP
2) Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Film Movement - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


The Indian Tomb

 

1) Image / Fantoma - Region 0 - NTSC TOP
2) Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Film Movement - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Image / Fantoma - Region 0 - NTSC TOP
2) Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Film Movement - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Image / Fantoma - Region 0 - NTSC TOP
2) Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Film Movement - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Image / Fantoma - Region 0 - NTSC TOP
2) Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Film Movement - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Image / Fantoma - Region 0 - NTSC TOP
2) Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Film Movement - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) Image / Fantoma - Region 0 - NTSC TOP
2) Masters of Cinema - Region 0 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) Film Movement - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

More full resolution (1920 X 1080) Blu-ray Captures for DVDBeaver Patreon Supporters HERE

 
Box Cover

  

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Image Entertainment / Fantoma - Region 0 - NTSC Masters of Cinema - Spine # 106-107 Region 0 - NTSC Film Movement - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


 


 

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Gary Tooze

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