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The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932)

Passed  -  Adventure | Horror | Sci-Fi  -  5 November 1932 (USA)
6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 1,979 users  
Reviews: 68 user | 27 critic

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 »

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play), 2 more credits »
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Title: The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Karen Morley ...
Sheila
Charles Starrett ...
...
...
Von Berg
...
Sir Lionel Barton
David Torrence ...
McLeod
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Storyline

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 <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 November 1932 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La máscara de Fu-Manchú  »

Box Office

Budget:

$327,627 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It took MGM makeup artist 'Cecil Holland (I)' 2.5 hours every morning to apply makeup to Boris Karloff for this role. See more »

Goofs

Obvious stand-in, special electrical effects wizard 'Kenneth Strickfaden (I)' for Boris Karloff where the electricity sparks off Fu Manchu's fingernails when he applies the electrical test to the fake sword. See more »

Quotes

Nayland Smith: Will we ever understand these Eastern races?
See more »

Connections

Follows The Green Mist (1924) See more »

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User Reviews

Scientific Rape
13 June 2005 | by (Virginia Beach) – See all my reviews

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.


15 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Great movie, but be forewarned: amartin-11
Homoerotic subtext georgegauthier
Karen Morley kennywolf
Just saw this on TCM -- no commercials mccloudnj
'Chinese' utterances of Fu Manchu partnerfrance
'My ugly and insignificant daughter...' FilmKoala
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