6.3/10
619
19 user 17 critic

Chandu the Magician (1932)

When delusional madman Roxor kidnaps a scientist in hopes of using his death ray to achieve world dominance, he is opposed by Chandu, a powerful hypnotist and yogi.

Directors:

(as William C. Menzies),

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Herbert Mundin ...
...
Weldon Heyburn ...
June Lang ...
Betty Lou Regent (as June Vlasek)
Michael Stuart ...
Bobby Regent (as Nestor Aber)
Virginia Hammond ...
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Storyline

Megalomaniac and would-be world dominator Roxor has kidnaped Robert Regent, along with his death ray invention, in hopes of using it to degenerate humanity into mindless brutes, leaving himself as Earth's supreme intelligence. Faced with revealing the machine's secrets or allowing his family to die a horrible death at the hands of Roxor, Regent's only hope lies with the intervention of his brother-in-law, the be-turbaned yogi and magician Chandu, who has the power to make men see what is not there 'even unto a gathering of twelve times twelve'. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Radio Broadcast Thriller


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 September 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Chandu - Hypnotisören  »

Box Office

Budget:

$349,456 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the subsequent Chandu serial, producers promoted Lugosi to the role of the magician-yogi. See more »

Goofs

During the scene where Chandu sneaks into the slave auction by luring the guard away with an astral projection. The guard chases the illusion, corner it, only to see it disappear before him. Shot over his shoulder we see him raise his hands in amazement and drop his rifle. There is a cut and the new angle shows the guard from the front with a look of stupefaction on his face - but still holding the gun. See more »

Quotes

Princess Nadji: So, unless my people will join in making you a modern pharaoh, you will annihilate them?
Roxor: [laughing] Pharaoh? I shall be greater than any pharaoh! Civilization and all its works shall be destroyed! Men shall return to savagery following only one supreme intelligence... me!
See more »

Crazy Credits

A magician's hand waves the opening credits on and off the screen. See more »

Connections

Followed by The Return of Chandu (1934) See more »

Soundtracks

How Dry I Am
(uncredited)
Music by Arthur Fields
Lyrics by Fred Hall
In the score when Miggles is about to take a drink
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Talk about COOL--this is a really exciting 1930s Saturday morning all rolled into one film!
9 January 2008 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Okay, I'll admit that technically speaking, this film isn't what you'd expect for a score of 8. After all, this was a very low-budget production and occasionally it really shows it--though most of the time, they do make the most of their limited resources. The film does earn super-high marks, though, for its ability to entertain, as there is one thrill after another after another--just like a Saturday morning movie serial condensed into one great package. In fact, it isn't all that surprising that just two years later they DID make a serial version of the Chandu character and a couple more movies--though oddly, he was played by Bela Lugosi in them, while in CHANDU THE MAGICIAN, he actually played the evil villain!!

Edmund Lowe stars here as Chandu--a Westerner who has "learned the psychic powers of the East". In other words, he spent years with gifted Hindu holy men and learned to use their great powers to control mens' minds. Using hypnosis, Chandu can make just about anyone do or see anything!! This makes him one heck of an amazing super-hero. Some of his tricks involved making men think their guns had turned to snakes, the ability to make doubles of himself to lure away the bad guys and his funny ability to mess with his man servant whenever he tries to take a drink!! Aside from comic heroes such as Mandrake, this is a truly unique character--and a very, very unique one for film. The closest I can think of are films such as THE COBRA WOMAN and ALI BABA, but they really aren't the same. Considering how exciting and fun this film was, I really wished they had made more of them--especially since the writing was so "seat of your pants" good.

In addition to these cool psychic powers, the film features a death ray, kidnappings and an evil cult of followers for Lugosi--what more could you possibly want in an old-time action-suspense film?! This is really great and exciting stuff--much better than the usual film for Lugosi or Lowe--who both do an exceptional job in this film. Too bad they just don't make 'em like they used to.


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