Lube, Lang was disappointed with everyone everywhere... was his own worst enemy, created horrible working conditions for himself due to saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. You're entititled to your (ahem, unique) opinion of course-- but the general revised critical opinion is this film marked a return to the kinds of film, the scale of filmmaking, that marked his hi-control silent years.
Whose general revised opinion? Frankly if I read the posts in this thread I'm more than mildly amused. The last posters give in to such a funny auteurism ... oh boy one would think that's gone since the ridiculous days of the nouvelle vague critics who picked their auteurs and then stated that every film by an auteur is a great affair.
First it should be bloody obvious that Lang had varying degrees of control in USA and it's silly to try to elevate completely routine works like e.g. his two Fox westerns through his auteur status. Lang couldn't write screenplays, the ones he did in his beginnings are wildly melodramatic trash see THE SPIDERS or other early scripts. He was interested in creating pictures and composing effective scenes, that's the main point. His major and favored plot point was the lone man crushed by destiny or circumstances and the stories he filmed about this theme could be completely hollow, trivial stories like Harbou's scripts or very good ones. But it's often hilarious to read how critics consider every film an auteurs work. The flatly lit and completely unimaginative last two films WHILE THE CITY SLEEPS and BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT show a very tired director of two low budget productions with mediocre acting all around which generates no interest in the story. The solution of one French critic was to call this films not films noirs but films gris (grey films) in order to find a good term for the development of the beloved auteur.
Regarding his Indian films I strongly suggest that you also consider the versions of 1921 and 1937 as equal masterpieces, they are no better or worse. the screenwriter and the actors all felt that the film was outmoded stuff as did all reasonable critics who didn't try to consider it as expressions of an auteur. Brauner has made many of such large scale epics which are equally silly or good. It's a trashy story with exotic cliches (snakes, statues and ritual dances, sinister Asians, the love of an European to an exotic women and so on), wooden actors, a wildly melodramatic plot and stereotyped characters. The one mildly interesting point are a few effective scenes like the lepers in the cave.
If there wouldn't be the name of Lang and Brauner had chosen another director like e.g. Dieterle who also remade another originally silent epic for him, you would never rave about the film. But that's what happens if your only view of films is the simple way of auteurism.
What crawled up your ass & died? You're out of control and furious about something I'm not actually interested in identifying. I never said DAS INDISCHE GRABMAL was a masterpiece-- I said it was a lot of fun & gorgeous to look at.
There are some gals & gents who think I totter in the realm of extreme posts once every here & there... but even my most nuclear ideological opponents come to my defense because I am careful about neutralizing the offense of my points by prefacing statements with "In my opinion
this film is _______," and "There is absolutely nothing wrong with your liking/disliking ______".
I happen to absolutely fucking LOVE SPIDERS... I own it, I own the Joe May INDIAN TOMB as well as the Lang.
You come on with these supersonic jolts saying
"are wildly melodramatic trash see THE SPIDERS or other early scripts"
Well guess what? I love the SPIDERS. I adore DER MUDE TOD. So you just directly said I like trash
. I find that pretty fucking tedius. That's the kind of sophomoric lack of worldliness that sucks the fucking exquisite fun right out of a high stakes intellectual argument (and believe me, I'm chomping at the bit but hold back because I can forsee the result)-- like OOPS, WRONG ROOM, BYE NOW. Who wants to discuss intangibles with someone genuinely fucking furious before the exchange begins?