Crazy Dates of the Silent Era: Conrad Veidt has painted himself gold. Again. Animated GIF

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So, you’re trying to woo and win the girl of your dreams. What to do? What to do? Well, have you tried painting yourself gold and wearing a frosted glass light fixture as a hat? You haven’t? Well, don’t come whining to me then.

Conrad Veidt is the heart and soul of The Indian Tomb, an epic that is as nutty as it is intriguing. Fritz Lang and Thea von Harbou wrote the thing, Joe May directs. Veidt plays a maharajah (!) with an unfaithful wife and a tiger pit, which is a dangerous combination for all concerned. At this point in the story, Veidt is looking for love and feels that painting himself gold is the best option.

And for some of us, it is. (Back! Back, I say! He’s mine!)

(You can read my full-length review here.)

Availability: The Indian Tomb was released on DVD by Image. The disc is now out of print but is available used.

Silent Movie Trivia #15: The Indian Tomb (1921)

(click to view in lightbox)
(click to view in lightbox)

Joe May catches a lot of flak for this one. A lot of Fritz Lang fans have 20/20 hindsight and curse May for taking Lang off directing duties for this picture. First of all, I actually like May as a director. He’s very underrated, in my opinion. Second, Lang had been directing since 1919, less than two years of experience, and this film had quite a big budget. I can’t really blame May. After all, it was his money.

In any case, what other movie lets you ogle Conrad Veidt painted gold?

This film has the distinction of never quite succeeding. It was filmed three times, the last time by Lang himself, but the story never really seemed to catch on with audiences. Lang’s 1959 remake is mostly remembered today for Debra Paget dancing in extremely revealing costumes.

(You can read my review of both the silent version and its talkie remake here.)

Availability: The silent version of this film was restored and released on DVD by Image. This disc is currently out of print but is available used. The talkie remake is also out of print.