A two-part escapist adventure in exotic locations: a despot, a European architect who becomes involved with a temple dancer... It would be easy to fall into the trap that many did over Lang's American films, saying the subjects were unworthy of the director. But here the spectacle permits one of Lang's most formal achievements. Above all, here are two films to be looked at. In this respect, it's not surprising that the project started as a silent movie, which Lang co-scripted in 1920 with Thea von Harbou, and was preparing to direct until Joe May decided to make it himself. Nor is it coincidence that a central character is an architect: these two movies are like cathedrals of cinema. Eroticism, another perennial theme in Lang's work, is given its most tangible form in Debra Paget's temple dancer. Some may find the films irritating, but there's no denying their formal achievement.