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August 29, 2015


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"Menard’s Quixote, which, I will once again point out, never really existed"

You, sir, have obviously never visited The Library of Babel, where Menard’s Quixote can easily be located.


Glenn, two points:

1) This is an absolutely wonderful essay.

2) It really makes me want to vidi The Tiger of Eschnapur and The Indian Tomb, which I'd never really considered before.


But given that you tangent into Beyond A Reasonable Doubt, I'd like to further tangent.

I've always really loved both Beyond A Reasonable Doubt and While the City Sleeps. And I've NEVER understood why they don't get any love. Express love for these films in a room of cineastes, and you'll have real trouble getting a second. Inexplicable.


I only know cineastes from the internet, but everyone I "know" loves those two films. They were favorites on Kehr's site, along with Rancho Notorious. You can't really go wrong with 50s Lang. To me The Blue Gardenia's the one that's underrated.

Other than that, best piece of writing on here as far back as I can remember.


Thanks for a great piece.

Glenn, just to let you know:

There is third - rather elaborate - version of both movies, made in 1938 by Richard Eichberg (who also scripted), with a starry cast including La Jana, Hans Stüwe, Theo Lingen and Gisela Schlüter.

For decades it was difficult to find as it was rarely broadcast even on German television; I remember seeing it more than twenty years ago and finding it better than anticipated. A little while ago it has been released on DVD (by a German company called "Filmjuwelen"); alas as most German DVDs of German films it has no English subtitles.

Of course, it's main interest nowadays would lie in its presentation of the 'exotic', considering that it was made under the Nazis, but unfortunately I don't remember the two 90-minute films well enought to comment on that. I would need to see them again...

P.S.: I have to disagree with you about the acting in the Fritz Lang films; Hubschmid is maybe a little dull, but solid and he handles the German dialogue really well; for me, Paget lacks the magnetism of a great actress and thus fails to hold it all together.

Glenn Kenny

Thanks for the kind words and the information on the Eichberg film, Olaf.

D Cairns


Randy Byers

Great piece, Glenn. The overall title of May's two-parter was "Das Indische Grabmal". The first part ("erster Teil") was called "Die Sendung des Yoghi," which Wikipedia translates as "The Mission of the Yogi". The second was "Der Tiger von Eschnapur". I've watched the whole thing once, but don't remember much other than that it had its good points but also its slow parts. Veidt plays the maharajah. It also features Bernhard Goetzke, who was in several of Lang's early films, including Mabuse the Gambler.

I've never seen a comparison of the May and Lang versions, but I believe there are significant plot differences. Amongst other things, in the older version the architect has a fiance who follows him to India.



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