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 <email@example.com>
Cost-conscious Fox studios paid $40,000 for the rights to Chandu. Lugosi received $2500, Ware $1250, Hammond $100, Walthall $1000, and Stuart $300.Filming was completed July 1932. See more »
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 »
If Nadji opposes me, and you serve me well, there shall be a new slave in your harem.
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If you like old-fashioned cliffhanger thrills, you'll enjoy CHANDU THE MAGICIAN. It has everything you could want in a serial adventure- a dashing hero, a megalomaniacal villain, an exotic setting, and a series of hair-raising perils that keeps the scenario rolling until the end. CHANDU's plot which concerns the title character's supernatural efforts to prevent the fiendish Roxor from taking over the world is trite and simplistic. However, the story's very triteness and simplicity is part of CHANDU's corny charm.
CHANDU boasts dazzling set design and fluid cinematography that create a fascinating, mysterious Egyptian milieu with majestic temple sets and an atmospheric desert locale. CHANDU's sense of adventure and mystique is further enhanced by special effects illustrating the powers of both Chandu and a death ray Roxor plans to employ in his world-domination plot. Even by today's Industrial Light and Magic standards, these effects look impressive.
Edmund Lowe is acceptable in the title role of Chandu but Bela Lugosi in the role of Roxor steals the film. Lugosi tackles his part with a demonic zeal, displaying odious glee over his scheme in both his facial expressions and line deliveries. There is little restraint or subtlety in his performance, but Lugosi projects such persuasive charisma that one can forgive his indulgences. Overall, CHANDU is no classic, but it's fun escapist entertainment.
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