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The Face Of Fu Manchu

4.2 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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(Sep 25, 2012)
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Editorial Reviews

The world can breathe easier. Fu Manchu, the crimelord who knows the hidden powers of the mind, is dead. No less than Scotland Yard’s Nayland Smith witnessed the execution. But beware. Don’t expect Fu Manchu to die so conveniently when there’s still so much evil to perpetrate. Christopher Lee plays the malevolent anti hero of the popular Sax Rohmer novels for the first time in The Face of Fu Manchu. World domination is the ingenious fiend’s goal, one increasingly within his long-nailed grasp now that he’s discovered a secret potion so toxic that one drop can kill thousands. Pay heed, you Nayland Smiths of the world: The forces of evil are very much alive! Are you so foolish as to believe you can oppose the will of Fu Manchu?

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Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Christopher Lee, Nigel Green, Joachim Fuchsberger, Karen Dor, James Robertson Justice
  • Directors: Don Sharp
  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Archive
  • DVD Release Date: September 25, 2012
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B009H3LOX8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,507 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
The talented Christopher Lee only occasionally involved himself in a long running character in his movie roles and of course his brilliant portrayal of Dracula in a series of films for Hammer Studios has gone into movie folklore. Another character that he portrayed in a series of films and made his own was the evil oriental mastermind Dr. Fu Manchu.
Made famous in the 30's by Boris Karloff and by a long running series in the 40's here Christopher Lee puts his own original stamp on the evil doctor who was always bent on taking over the world by some fiendish method involving torture, deadly weapons and mind games. "The Face Of Fu Manchu" was the first of the films in this new series and was by far the best. It not only offers a wonderfully sinister character for Lee to sink his teeth into (no pun intended) but offers a lavish production with wonderfully recreated 1920's atmosphere, excellent costumes and a fine supporting cast of veteran performers like Nigel Green in the role of Sir Nayland Smith from Scotland Yard who would be Fu Manchu's main nemesis in many an adventure in the future. Equally effective is asian actress Tsai Chin who portrays Lin Tang, Fu Manchu's evil daughter and one of his main cohorts in his evil schemes.
The plot of "The Face Of Fu Manchu" is a straightforward one whereby London experiences a series of grisly deaths and then the kidnapping of famed scientist Prof. Fuchsberger who has discovered a lethal product that if used by those in the know is capable of wiping out huge numbers of people in a short time. It is up to Nayland Smith to try and find the source of these murders and also find the missing scientist before he reveals the secret formula to the evil Fu Manchu who faked his own death in order to throw Scotland Yard off his scent.
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Format: VHS Tape
So far only available on VHS in Region 1, I picked up the Region 2 DVD release of `Face of Fu Manchu' recently and blessed my region-free DVD player for every wonderful fun-filled moment of this enjoyable fantasy romp.

Based on the character originally envisioned by British author Sax Rohmer, Christopher Lee made a total of five appearances in the 1960s as arch villain Fu Manchu. This entry (the first in the series) is by far the best, closely followed by the second `Brides of Fu Manchu' (another Region 2 only DVD release).

What makes this entry so enjoyable is the wonderful Nigel Green as Fu Manchu's greatest nemesis - Nayland Smith of Scotland Yard. In fact it is in the opening minutes of this movie that we see Smith invited by the Chinese government to witness the execution of Fu Manchu.

Fast forward a couple of months and Smith is sturdy in his belief that Fu Manchu survived and is behind a series of grisly crimes in western Europe. Then when a professors servant is found murdered in the same manner in which Fu Manchu's followers had practiced, Smith becomes even more convinced that he is up against the evil genius.

Through a series of machinations Smith learns that the professor has been kidnapped by Fu Manchu and is being forced to make a toxin that could wipe out most of the western world. Of course (in a plot device also used in the following `Brides of Fu Manchu') the professors daughter has also been captured and is being used to comply the professor to complete his task.

Directed with skill by Don Sharp this movie is fast-paced enough to overlook the plot holes and colorful enough to keep the fun factor umpped up to the ultimate degree. It's a visual feast and the movie is also helped by a tight script and some well drawn characters.
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Format: DVD
Warner Archive has finally released a beautiful 2.35 DVD-R transfer of Director Don Sharp's 'THE FACE OF FU MANCHU'-1965, the first time the film has had a digital release in this country and which was the victim of poor pan and scan VHS tape and Laser disc fodder over the years. The colors are much richer and the lavishness of the scope image makes the film look more expensive than it probably was. Christopher Lee will never look as good in the role as in this first and best outing donning oriental makeup (not the first time, however, having sadistically tore up the screen as Chung King in Director Anthony Bushell's 'THE TERROR OF THE TONGS'- 1961 for Hammer Films) and gleefully sneering at every obstacle put forward by his daughter Lin Tang played beautifully by actress Tsai Chin who would also appear in all films of the series and placed at the feet of nemesis Sir Nayland Smith played by Nigel Green in his sole outing of the series and one of his best performances. Producer Harry Allen Towers would steadily worsen the series by cutting the budgets and eventually handing over the Director's mantle to Jess Franco who would release the last two films and reduce Lee's performance to that of his Hammer Count Dracula as just standing around and spouting out orders. This film also blends the British with the German Edgar Walace Krimi's by having actress Karin Dor and Joachim Fuchsberger along for the ride. It is photographed in gritty fashion by Ernest Steward who graced the Diana Rigg/Emma Peal seasons of 'THE AVENGERS' with his camerawork and has a brassy music score by Christopher Whelen. The screenplay is by Towers here billed as Peter Welbeck loosely based on the Sax Rohmer characters.Read more ›
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