6.5/10
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The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932)

Englishmen race to find the tomb of Genghis Khan before Fu Manchu does.

Directors:

, (uncredited)

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Von Berg
...
Sir Lionel Barton
...
McLeod
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Storyline

Englishmen race to find the tomb of Genghis 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

Taglines:

The Frankenstein of the Orient!


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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film received its initial television broadcast in Los Angeles Monday 18 November 1957 on KTTV (Channel 11), followed by San Francisco 11 February 1958 on KGO (Channel 7), Philadelphia 23 April 1958 on WFIL (Channel 6), and, finally, New York City 11 November 1958 on WCBS (Channel 2). See more »

Goofs

As Fu Manchu gets up and walks away after talking to Barton for the first time, he crosses his hands before him. In the very next shot, his hands are by his body. The position of Fah Lo See also changes between these two shots. See more »

Quotes

Fu Manchu: [to Sir Lionel Barton, describing the "Bell Torture" Barton will suffer until he reveals the location of the tomb of Genghis Khan, as Fu Manchu's minions are securing Barton to a slab beneath a giant bell] You've read about this, Barton: the torture of the bell: it never stops. Minute after minute, hour after hour, day after day. Seems harmless, doesn't it? Just a bell ringing. But the percussion and the repercussion of sound against your eardrums will soften and destroy them until the sound is ...
[...]
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Connections

Followed by The Blood of Fu Manchu (1968) 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.


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