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The Return of Chandu (1934)

The cult of Ubasti, headquartered on the isle of Lemuria, believes that Princess Nadji of Egypt is a reincarnation of their long-dead goddess, Ossana, and intend to sacrifice her so that ... See full summary »





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Cast overview:
Frank Chandler (Chandu) (archive footage)
Princess Nadji (archive footage)
Lucien Prival ...
Vindhyan (archive footage)
Mrs. Dorothy Regent (archive footage)
Dean Benton ...
Bob Regent (archive footage)
Phyllis Ludwig ...
Betty Regent (archive footage)
Cyril Armbrister ...
Sutra (archive footage)
Elias Lazaroff ...
Bara (archive footage)
Morta (archive footage)
Frazer Acosta ...
Nito, the butler (archive footage)
Prince Andra (archive footage)
Judy Allen (archive footage) (as Peggy Montgomery)
High Priest in Lemuria (archive footage)

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The cult of Ubasti, headquartered on the isle of Lemuria, believes that Princess Nadji of Egypt is a reincarnation of their long-dead goddess, Ossana, and intend to sacrifice her so that Ossana may be resurrected. Nadji has sought refuge at the California home of Frank Chandler, an American educated in the Ancient East and familiar with White Magic and thus calls himself "Chandu". Vindhyan, high priest of the cult's California base has learned of this, however, and works his Black Magic to gain control of Nadji. Chandu is able to rescue her but she is in a deep trance which he cannot penetrate, so attempts to move her to safety in the South Seas, unaware that the cult has a base there also and that Vindhyan has stowed aboard his chartered yacht... Written by Rich Wannen <RichWannen@worldnet.att.net>

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Release Date:

April 1935 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


This feature was not only composed by editing together the first four chapters of the same-titled serial, but in fact the episodes were specifically written so that, spliced together, the result had the pacing and dialog of a b-feature film. Producer Sol Lesser developed this approach so that this film could be marketed either as a free-standing feature, as a feature-length first episode, with no loss of continuity or resolution in either case. Or the source serial could be booked in the traditional 12-episode format. See more »


Edited from The Return of Chandu (1934) See more »

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User Reviews

A Serial Divided

Bela Lugosi starred as Frank AKA Chandu Chandler in 1934 in a serial called The Return of Chandu. Chandu has been popularized greatly by the 1932 film starring Edmund Lowe as Chandu and Lugosi as the arch-enemy Roxor. Now, Lugosi gets to play an atypical role for him, the hero - and he does a rather nice job through most of it despite very, very cheap production values, inferior direction, gross editing mistakes, and abysmal special effects. This Return of Chandu is the 65 minute edit that came from the original 12 chapter serial of the same title. The first half was made into this film and the second half of the serial was edited into Chandu and the Magic Isle. When considering that this is a product of a much longer serial, you must understand that you are going to have continuity problems galore and other inherent ones as well. Notwithstanding all of that, this story about Chandu fighting a group of cat worshipers(?)wanting to abduct the princess Nadji and sacrifice her on the island of Lemuria is engaging and fun. It is a very pleasant surprise to see Bela play the good guy and the hero. His magical powers are pretty suspect as we see him "disappear" and look at people very relentlessly with his hypnotizing eyes ala Dracula. Maria Alba makes a beautiful princess if nothing else and the rest of the cast is adequate. Yes, production values are limited and, yes, the editing job here was a hatchet job of the first half of the serial. The second feature, Chandu and the Magic Island, fares better as it has many of the more "action-packed" scenes.

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