The Indian Tomb Part One: The Mission of the Yogi (1921)

Article #592 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 10-28-2003
Posting Date: 3-23-2003

An architect is brought to India under mysterious circumstances to build a tomb.

Actually, the book from which I got the listing for this movie refers to both parts as a single movie, but IMDB lists each part as a separate movie, and though it tells one complete story, I’m going to opt for splitting it into two parts, at least partially so I don’t have to watch the whole four-hour stretch at one haul. This is certainly true if the second half is a lot like the first; I found the first half to be painfully slow-moving at times; it takes a good hour before the prince even gets around to showing the architect where the tomb is to be built. One wonders what it would have been like if it actually had been directed by Fritz Lang (who worked on the script with Thea Von Harbou); however, the producer thought the movie would be a big hit, and wanted the credit for himself, so it was directed by Joe May; Fritz Lang would later direct a remake. The story itself is quite interesting once it does get going, but sometimes it cuts back and forth at inconvenient times, particularly during a sequence where the scenes of the lover of the princess fighting for his life against the prince’s forces are intercut with the fiancee wandering around the palace and ending up in a bird-filled garden; I ended up being a little annoyed by this rather arbitrary use of editing. Still, I should see the second half tomorrow, and I am curious as to what is going to happen.

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