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.
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"Journey to the Lost City" is not a specific film by Fritz Lang but the combination of Der Tiger von Eschnapur (1959) with its sequel The Indian Tomb (1959), done in 1960 by American International Pictures.
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An architect travels to the remote city of Eschnapur to oversee some work being done at the bequest of the local Maharajah. Along the way the architect meets and falls in love with a beautiful temple-dancer. The Maharajah also loves this dancer and plans to marry her despite fierce opposition from factions within his own court. The dancer responds to the architect's advances and they flee from Eschnapur but are captured by the Maharajah's soldiers. To save the architect's life, the dancer agrees to marry the Maharajah. This sparks a revolt which is eventually put down. The sadder but wiser Maharajah then allows the architect and the dancer to leave his domain. Written by
Decent, but probably not the sort of film Lang wanted in order to make a comeback.
"Der Tiger von Eschnapur" is a film about a German architect who is brought to India to work for the Maharajah of Enschnapur (a fictitious kingdom). Along the way, he exercises very poor judgment and falls in love with a half-caste (Debra Paget) and they both risk their lives if they act upon this love. And so, naturally, they do and the film ends with their fleeing for their lives. Exactly what happens next, you'll need to see in the second film in this series--"The Indian Tomb".
I enjoyed "Der Tiger von Eschnapur". It was the sort of film that was like a throwback to the 1940s--to the films of Universal Studios. In many ways, it was a bit like "The Cobra Woman", "Thief of Bagdad" or a movie serial--full of action, romance and escapism. On the other hand, it certainly was not a great piece of art--more like a B-movie with a slightly higher budget and a nice locale. Plus, Miss Paget had one of the sexiest dance numbers I can recall having seen apart from Rita Hayworth's in "Gilda". However, to put it bluntly, it was a decent film but not good enough to enable the director, Fritz Lang, to be able to mount a comeback to his former greatness. But with small bad touches (one-dimensional characters and some bad special effects--such as the obviously stuffed tiger during the big climactic scene and the wooden-looking severed head), it certainly isn't a great work of art--more just Saturday matinée escapism and nothing more. But, frankly, sometimes that is all you need to have a bit of fun.
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