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Chandu on the Magic Island (1935)

4.7
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Ratings: 4.7/10 from 88 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 2 critic

On the mystic island of Lemuria, the cult of Ubasti seek the Egyptian Princess Nadji to sacrifice so that their goddess Ossana, whose soul resides in Nadji's body, may be resurrected by ... See full summary »

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Title: Chandu on the Magic Island (1935)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Maria Alba ...
Princess Nadji (archive footage)
...
Dorothy Regent (archive footage)
Dean Benton ...
Bob Regent (archive footage)
Phyllis Ludwig ...
Betty Regent (archive footage)
Murdock MacQuarrie ...
The Voice of the Ubasti (archive footage)
Wilfred Lucas ...
Capt. Walker (archive footage)
Josef Swickard ...
Tyba (the White Magician) (archive footage)
Jack J. Clark ...
Vitras (the high priest) (archive footage)
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Storyline

On the mystic island of Lemuria, the cult of Ubasti seek the Egyptian Princess Nadji to sacrifice so that their goddess Ossana, whose soul resides in Nadji's body, may be resurrected by Black Magic. Nadji is located in the Far East port of Suva, but shielded by the White Magical powers of Frank Chandler, an American raised by Eastern mystics who is also known as Chandu. When Chandu takes a voyage alone, however, the evil Voice of Ubasti is able to magically spirit her to Lemuria, where Black Magic reigns supreme. Chandu sets out in pursuit with his sister Dorothy, niece Betty and nephew Bob; but, shipwrecked on the magic island, Chandu finds his family also held prisoner for sacrifice while he is plunged into an endless maze of caverns beneath the evil temple, where both his mortal and magical strength seem rendered useless... Written by Rich Wannen <RichWannen@worldnet.att.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

magic | island | lemuria | temple | goddess | See All (15) »

Genres:

Fantasy | Adventure

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Release Date:

August 1935 (USA)  »

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Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)
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User Reviews

Mostly Worth Seeing For Lugosi
5 December 2005 | by (Ohio) – See all my reviews

This Chandu feature, edited from the serial, is mostly worth seeing for Bela Lugosi in the title role, which gives him a chance to play the good guy for a change. The movie as a whole is watchable, and it has a fair amount of action and suspense, but most of the rest of it is hardly on a par with Lugosi's performance.

The 1930s Chandu features can be just a little confusing to sort out. In the original movie, "Chandu the Magician", Lugosi played Chandu's evil antagonist, but in the following serial - listed here in the database as "The Return of Chandu" (1934/I) - Lugosi was given the role of the heroic magician himself. The serial was also edited into two feature length movies, with the first part released as "The Return of Chandu" (1934/II) and this second part as "Chandu on the Magic Island".

So this feature picks up towards the middle of the story, although the important points are easy enough to grasp right away. Chandu is contending with a group of cat worshipers who have decided to capture and sacrifice the Egyptian princess Nadji, in the belief that this will bring back their own long-dead goddess. They also menace Chandu's sister, nephew, and niece as a means of discouraging him.

Because it was edited from a serial format, the story has a number of stops and starts from the chapter breaks. There are frequent predicaments, with most being of a similar nature. As a full-length movie, it gets just a bit repetitive after a while for that reason. Lugosi is always able to carry his scenes, though, and he had the screen presence and the mannerisms to pull off even the most banal lines of dialogue.

The production values are uneven, with some special effects that work fairly well but other action sequences with too many seams showing. As the princess, Maria Alba is very nice to look at, but otherwise the supporting cast does not contribute all that much. Yet many of these old serials have a certain appeal, regardless of quality, to fans of old movies, and this feature gives you a chance to see the whole story at once.


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