IMDb > The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932)
The Mask of Fu Manchu
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The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932) More at IMDbPro »


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6.6/10   1,927 votes »
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Down 11% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Irene Kuhn (screen play) &
Edgar Allan Woolf (screen play) ...
View company contact information for The Mask of Fu Manchu on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
5 November 1932 (USA) See more »
Englishmen race to find the tomb of Ghengis Khan. They have to get there fast, as the evil genius Dr... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Death to the White Race! See more (66 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Boris Karloff ... Dr. Fu Manchu
Lewis Stone ... Nayland Smith
Karen Morley ... Sheila
Charles Starrett ... Terrence Granville

Myrna Loy ... Fah Lo See

Jean Hersholt ... Von Berg
Lawrence Grant ... Sir Lionel Barton
David Torrence ... McLeod
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Everett Brown ... Slave (uncredited)
Steve Clemente ... Knife Thrower (uncredited)
Willie Fung ... Ship's Steward (uncredited)
Ferdinand Gottschalk ... British Museum Official (uncredited)
Allen Jung ... Coolie (uncredited)
Tetsu Komai ... Swordsman (uncredited)
James B. Leong ... Guest (uncredited)
Oswald Marshall ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Chris-Pin Martin ... Potentate (uncredited)
Lal Chand Mehra ... Indian Prince (uncredited)
Edward Peil Sr. ... Coolie Spy (uncredited)
Clinton Rosemond ... Slave (uncredited)
C. Montague Shaw ... Curator Dr. Fairgyle - British Museum Official (uncredited)
E. Alyn Warren ... Goy Lo Sung - Fu Manchu Messenger (uncredited)

Directed by
Charles Brabin 
Charles Vidor (uncredited)
Writing credits
Irene Kuhn (screen play) &
Edgar Allan Woolf (screen play) and
John Willard (screen play)

Sax Rohmer (from the story by)

Original Music by
William Axt (uncredited)
Cinematography by
Tony Gaudio (photographed by)
Film Editing by
Ben Lewis (film editor)
Art Direction by
Cedric Gibbons 
Costume Design by
Adrian (gowns)
Makeup Department
Cecil Holland .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
John Waters .... assistant director (uncredited)
Sound Department
Douglas Shearer .... recording director
Anstruther MacDonald .... sound (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Warren Newcombe .... special effects (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Clarence Sinclair Bull .... still photographer (uncredited)
Ken Strickfaden .... electrician: effects unit (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
68 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System)
Finland:(Banned) (1933) | USA:Passed (National Board of Review)

Did You Know?

This was the only time that Myrna Loy worked with Boris Karloff; she had already worked with Bela Lugosi in 1930's "Renegades," and would conquer her 'femme fatale' typecasting by 1934's "The Thin Man".See more »
Continuity: Lewis Stone/Nayland Smith pokes around a Buddha. He sets down his gun, then falls through a trap door, with his gun clearly still on the Buddha. He gets up and pulls his gun out (of the same side of his coat, couldn't have two guns).See more »
Fu Manchu:[Fu Manchu temporarily stops the "bell torture bell" from ringing, lifts up Sir Lionel Barton's head and gives him a glass of water] And now for a nice, long drink.
Fu Manchu:[Sir Lionel Barton begins to drink from the glass, splutters and lays his head back down; moaning] Ha ha ha ha ha... Oh, I forgot to tell you... it was salted!
See more »
Movie Connections:
Spoofed in The Simpsons: Bart vs. the World (1991) (VG)See more »


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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful.
Death to the White Race!, 7 November 2006
Author: ( from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

"The Mask of Fu Manchu" was MGMs attempt to cash in on the horror craze of the day. They even went so far as to secure the services of the biggest horror star, Boris Karloff from Universal. Evendently, Irving Thalberg the head of production at MGM thought the studio could make them "bigger and better". MGM had released "Freaks" earlier the same year, about a group of circus freaks, but it didn't do well at the box office. So this time they decided to go with a major horror star.

Dr. Fu Manchu (Karloff) a half mad and sadistic oriental leader hopes to become the new Genghis Khan by recovering Khan's mask and sword from his tomb. He then plans to unite all orientals and eliminate the white race. Also after the treasure are Sir Lionel Barton (Lawrence Grant) and his expedition which includes his daughter Sheila (Karen Morley), Professor Von Berg (Jean Hersholt), Terrence Granville (Charles Starrett), McLeod (David Torrence) and Scotland Yard detective Nayland Smith (Lewis Stone) along to protect the treasure from falling into the hands of Fu Manchu.

Fu Manchu abducts Barton and tries to get him to reveal the location of Genghis Khan's sword and mask. When he refuses, Fu Manchu subjects him to the "bell torture". To free Barton, the party agrees to send Terrence to Fu Manchu with fake artifacts. Fu Manchu's equally evil daughter Fah Lo See (Myrna Loy) sets her sights on Terrence.

After subjecting him to a lashing, Fu Manchu injects Terrence with a serum that will compel him to do Fu Manchu's bidding. Terrance returns to Sheila and under Fu Manchu's influence tricks the others into coming back to Fu Manchu with the real treasure.

When the tyrant finally gets his hands on the the sword and mask, he has no further use with the explorers. First he plans to offer Sheila up as a sacrifice to the gods, subject Smith to a slow descent into an alligator pit, Professor Von Berg to impalement by a two sided wall of spikes while retaining Terrence "for the amusement" of his daughter.

This film benefited greatly from MGMs excellent production values. The set pieces including the various instruments of torture, are excellent. Being filmed before The Production Code was implemented in Hollywood in 1934, this film contains several racial remarks and sexual innuendos. Its no secret what the seductive Foh Lo See is up to.

As was usual in Hollywood, the lead oriental parts were cast with Caucasians, and the so-called Britishers with Americans using phony accents, if in fact they used them at all.

Karloff seems to relish his part being as mean and evil as he ever was. Watch the "bell torture" sequence as an example. Loy was never sexier and probably never got the chance to play such a role again. Stone, an MGM mainstay, is also good as Fu Manchu's main adversary.

Charles Starrett would go on to be Columbia's main "B" western hero in a contract that ran from 1935 to 1952. For the latter years he was better known as "The Durango Kid".

One of MGM's better forays into the horror genre.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
'My ugly and insignificant daughter...' FilmKoala
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
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