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The Face of Fu Manchu (1965)

Grisly strangulations in London alert Nayland Smith of Scotland Yard to the possibility of the fiendish Fu Manchu may not be dead after all, even though Smith witnessed his execution. A ... See full summary »

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Writers:

(characters), (screenplay) (as Peter Welbeck)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Maria Muller
...
Sir Charles
...
Dr. Petrie (as Howard Marion Crawford)
...
...
Muller
Harry Brogan ...
Gaskell
...
Lotus (as Poulet Tu)
Archie O'Sullivan ...
Chamberlain
Edwin Richfield ...
Chief Magistrate
Joe Lynch ...
Custodian
Peter Mosbacher ...
Hanumon (as Peter Mossbacher)
...
Grand Lama (as Eric Young)
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Storyline

Grisly strangulations in London alert Nayland Smith of Scotland Yard to the possibility of the fiendish Fu Manchu may not be dead after all, even though Smith witnessed his execution. A killer spray made from Tibetan berries seems to be involved and clues keep leading back to the Thames. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Obey Fu Manchu Or Every Living Thing Will Die! See more »


Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

24 October 1965 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Mask of Fu Manchu  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (2003)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the first of the "Fu Manchu" films starring Christopher Lee. See more »

Goofs

As the two soldiers stop for a cup of tea, one leans his rifle against the table behind them. It then slowly falls over, totally ignored by the two men as they discuss the weather. See more »

Quotes

Fu Manchu: [broadcasting by radio] Attention! Attention! This is Fu Manchu. Stand by for an important message. I repeat, this is Fu Manchu. You know now that I must be obeyed, that I am all-powerful. In two more days I shall give my commands. They will be carried out at once... or ten thousand shall die. Ten thousand. And one particular man. That is all.
See more »

Connections

Follows The Man with the Limp (1923) See more »

Soundtracks

Radio Revels
(uncredited)
Music by Ivor Slaney
De Wolfe Music Ltd
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The high point of this five-film series unwisely tries to adopt the style of the James Bond films.
22 March 1999 | by (Burlington, NJ) – See all my reviews

Hit and run independent film financier Harry Alan Towers made his bid for the big time in 1965. Spending more money than he ever had (or would) again, scouting attractive international locations, hiring respected craftsmen and actors and launching a multi-million dollar publicity campaign to promote his pet project. "The Face of Fu Manchu", the unlikely recipient of all this attention, represents a plateau to which Towers would never aspire again.

After publicly purchasing the pulp adventure novels of Sax Rohmer, Towers signed horror film icon Christopher Lee to a six-picture deal as the title menace. As director, Towers hired Don Sharp, maker of numerous elegant, effective horror films and probably the most talented director to put his name on a Towers contract. Writing the script himself under his nom de cinema Peter Welbeck, Towers ignored the plots of all the Rohmer novels and concocted his own. The film wisely retains the period setting of early-twentieth century London (which required shooting in Dublin, for the sake of authenticity), but alters the deductive tone of the books in favor of action sequences in the style of the James Bond films, which were then in their first flush of international success.

The finished film is beautiful to see, filmed in technicolor and cinemascope, it truly looks more expensive than it is. Encouraged, Towers launched an expensive international publicity campaign whose most notable stunt was wallpapering election-year New York City with oversized "Fu Manchu For Mayor" posters

In the end, "Face" failed to return enough money to justify the huge outlay spent in making and promoting it. The film seemed to please no one: fans of the series were outraged by the James Bondian gunplay, fights and car chases, while Bond fans were alienated by the period trappings (1920s cars just don't go that fast!). More likely, this type of film just did not have the potential to reach the mainstream audience needed to make it a success.

Although Towers continued the series, the films would steadily decline in quality, from the high point of "Face" to the home-movie calibre of the final entry, "Castle of Fu Manchu".


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