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The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu (1980)

PG | | Comedy | 8 August 1980 (USA)
Fu Manchu's 168th birthday celebration is dampened when a hapless flunky spills Fu's age-regressing elixir vitae. Fu sends his lackeys to round up ingredients for a new batch of elixir, ... See full summary »


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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Alice Rage
Sir Roger Avery
Joe Capone
Robert Townsend
Pete Williams
Stratford Johns ...
John Sharp ...
Sir Nules Thudd
Clément Harari ...
Dr. Wretch
Kwan-Young Lee ...
John Tan ...
Philip Tan ...
Serge Julien ...
Johns Rajohnson ...


Fu Manchu's 168th birthday celebration is dampened when a hapless flunky spills Fu's age-regressing elixir vitae. Fu sends his lackeys to round up ingredients for a new batch of elixir, starting with the Star of Leningrad diamond, nabbed from a Soviet exhibition in Washington. The FBI sends agents Capone and Williams to England to confer with Nayland Smith, an expert on Fu. Nayland suspects Fu will kidnap the king and queen and demand the George V diamond as ransom. Scotland Yard recruits Alice Rage to stand-in for the queen. Fu nabs the "fake" queen; Rage becomes enamored of Fu and aids him in his quest for the George V diamond. Written by Dennis Lewis <dsl@sprynet.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


He's evil. He's diabolical. He's invincible. He's engaged. (He's also available for parties). See more »




PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

8 August 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Das boshafte Spiel des Dr. Fu Man Chu  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (DVD edition)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The name of the rare canary diamond was "The Star of Leningrad". See more »


Fu Manchu: Nayland Smith again. That is very good news...
Servant: Why is it good news, master?
Fu Manchu: Because I'm in no condition to receive bad news. I shall fine you each 1000 yen.
Servant: But you don't pay us, master.
Fu Manchu: Then I shall start paying you in order to fine you.
See more »


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Written by Mildred J. Hill and Patty S. Hill
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User Reviews

Sellers comes home... a little gem of a film...
8 December 2002 | by (Manchester UK) – See all my reviews

I'm baffled as to why so many people hate this film.

This is vintage Sellers, a return to before Hollywood got it's grip on him. I saw it in the cinema, when I was 15, and laughed my ass off.

Lovely characters, funny set pieces, familiar faces and a plot-of-sorts.

Yes it can get a little slow, but I really wish you'd go and look at some of Sellers' films of the late 50's/early 60's. THAT'S where this film belongs.

It's VERY British and enters that whole territory that includes "One of our Dinosaurs is Missing", "The Magic Christian", "Peter Cook's Hound of the Baskervilles", "The Adventure of Sherlock Holmses Smarter Brother" and their ilk. Not a bad thing really, but perhaps a minority taste. These tend to play more like extended TV sketch shows, and tend not to appeal to the majority. I mean.. flying houses?!

My irritation is the addition of Sid Caeser and Steve Franken.. WHY??? Merely to make the film sellable to the US one would imagine! They serve no purpose at all. They come across as caracture Americans.. shooting at plants and the like!

And oh boy...Helen Mirren as PC Rage.. just TOO much!! The Lady of Warrington Minge!!

It's very Goon-like, in terms of plot and characterisation: David Tomlinson as Neddie, Simon Willams as Bluebottle, Sellers as Colonal Bloodnok.... but it DOES lack Milligan's edge and drive. Descendants of this film include "The Crimson Permanant Insurance"...

What about the scene with FIVE sets of the King and Queen in the theatre box?? Hysterical...

Make no mistake though....this is a vehicle for Sellers and his characters. Sellers is in top form as the bonkers, but delightfully deadpan Nayland Smith (and his .... attachment to a lawnmower!) and the evil Fu Manchu.. "Hello boys!".... He's Dr Evil before the fact! More impeccable characters. It is, in fact, quite gutting to see how much he still had to give, just before his death, and one does wonder what would follow, given his huge profile after the completion of "Being There", his pet project for nearly 10 years.

So there you have..... my attempt to balance things a bit. If you wants full-on Hollywood Sellers.. go see the Panthers. But maybe you'd like to have a closer look at Sellers the comic actor in a pearl of the British comedy. His last.

24 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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DVD? fitz-hume
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