Englishmen race to find the tomb of Ghengis Khan. They have to get there fast, as the evil genius Dr. Fu Manchu is also searching, and if he gets the mysteriously powerful relics, he and ... See full summary »
Englishmen race to find the tomb of Ghengis Khan. They have to get there fast, as the evil genius Dr. Fu Manchu is also searching, and if he gets the mysteriously powerful relics, he and his diabolical daughter will enslave the world! Written by
Ken Yousten <firstname.lastname@example.org>
As originally scripted, during the torture sequence, it was planned to have Von Berg (Jean Hersholt) suspended over the crocodile pit and Neyland Smith (Lewis Stone) about to be impaled by the walls of spikes. This was reversed when, for reasons unknown, it was thought that a fat captive would make more sense being impaled than a thin one. See more »
During his fight with two of Fu Manchu's minions, Terry's shirt is ripped to shreds. In the next scene when he and Nyland rescue their friend from the spikes, Terry's shirt is intact, although unbuttoned. See more »
[pointing to a snake]
Is this a friend of your family's?
It is not wise to insult your host, Sir Nayland. If it were not the easy way out, I would kill you now.
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Many, many times a movie can be worthwhile when it does no more than create and display a strange world. Almost always that's the case where the world is new and/or synthesized from previous abstract sources.
"Metropolis" of five years earlier is often celebrated as a film. Its only value is in the art design, but that's miraculous in a way. Unfortunately the story is as thuggishly stupid as the notions it criticizes. And that mars a movie for me.
This one is even more clever in the visual world it creates. And yes the story is dumb, and also racist. But it is not hypocritical: all the people involved are dishonorable, worthy of a Tod Browning script.
The visual notions are astonishingly varied. Nominally this is a mystical Chinese (Northern Chinese, more deeply mystical) environment added to a 30's German-influenced visual depiction of science. There are lots of "electrical" visuals, zaps and blinkers. Abstractions of reality dominate: staircases that stand alone: monumental pedestals and other features in internal spaces; statues and icons that become characters from props.
The styles aren't Chinese at all but borrowed from any place or era with an association with the mystical.
Deep, deep shadows. Many ceremonial movements in everyday tasks (as well as ceremonies). Vast ambitions, though this was commonplace by then. Direct precode references to sex and the implication that somehow rape on a national scale had something to do with mystical/ scientific power.
(Remember, this is BEFORE Hitler's ascendancy.)
The story and most characters are irrelevant and that underscores the effect of the tone.
Watch Indiana Jones if you must, if you need movement. Watch this if you want to be saturated with cinematic color.
Ted's Evaluation -- 4 of 3: Every cineliterate person should experience this.
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