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The Face Of Fu Manchu
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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.Read more ›
Fu Manchu plans to dominate the world through the use of the poisonous extract of a rare Tibetan poppy. The only problem is that the extract is unstable above the freezing point. Fu threatens to torture the daughter of a scientist unless he finds a way to stabilize the poison. With Nayland Smith (Nigel Green) on the case, time is running out. This may be the best of the five Christopher Lee Fu Manchu films -- though "The Brides of Fu Manchu" is a very close second.
The film is widescreen (2.35:1) and in very good condition. The DVD comes in a case with a printed cover just like a regular DVD. However, there are absolutely no extras -- the only menu choice is "play"!
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
In my teens (several decades ago) I read several of Sax Rohmer's Fu Manchu novels. I was curious tp see how it looked in a movie. Read morePublished 2 months ago by John W. Scarborough
I am always a sucker for a Good, or is it Bad, Fu Manchu movie. This one started it all so is a good introduction to the oeuvre. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Observer of the Scene
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