6.3/10
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22 user 28 critic

Chandu the Magician (1932)

When delusional madman Roxor kidnaps a scientist in hopes of using his death ray to achieve world dominance, he is opposed by Chandu, a powerful hypnotist and yogi.

Directors:

William Cameron Menzies (as William C. Menzies), Marcel Varnel

Writers:

Barry Conners (screen play), Philip Klein (screen play) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Edmund Lowe ... Chandu / Frank Chandler
Irene Ware ... Princess Nadji
Bela Lugosi ... Roxor
Herbert Mundin ... Albert Miggles
Henry B. Walthall ... Robert Regent
Weldon Heyburn ... Abdulah
June Lang ... Betty Lou Regent (as June Vlasek)
Michael Stuart Michael Stuart ... Bobby Regent (as Nestor Aber)
Virginia Hammond ... Dorothy Regent
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Storyline

Megalomaniac and would-be world dominator Roxor has kidnaped Robert Regent, along with his death ray invention, in hopes of using it to degenerate humanity into mindless brutes, leaving himself as Earth's supreme intelligence. Faced with revealing the machine's secrets or allowing his family to die a horrible death at the hands of Roxor, Regent's only hope lies with the intervention of his brother-in-law, the be-turbaned yogi and magician Chandu, who has the power to make men see what is not there 'even unto a gathering of twelve times twelve'. Written by Doug Sederberg <vornoff@sonic.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Radio Broadcast Thriller See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 September 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Chandu - Hypnotisören See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$349,456 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Fox Film Corporation See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the subsequent Chandu serial, producers promoted Lugosi to the role of the magician-yogi. See more »

Goofs

During the scene where Chandu sneaks into the slave auction by luring the guard away with an astral projection. The guard chases the illusion, corner it, only to see it disappear before him. Shot over his shoulder we see him raise his hands in amazement and drop his rifle. There is a cut and the new angle shows the guard from the front with a look of stupefaction on his face - but still holding the gun. See more »

Quotes

Roxor: [to Abdullah] If Nadji opposes me, and you serve me well, there shall be a new slave in your harem.
See more »

Crazy Credits

A magician's hand waves the opening credits on and off the screen. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in The Crystal Gazebo (1932) See more »

Soundtracks

How Dry I Am
(uncredited)
Music by Arthur Fields
Lyrics by Fred Hall
In the score when Miggles is about to take a drink
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Enjoyable serial-style hokum
27 May 2000 | by RJVSee all my reviews

If you like old-fashioned cliffhanger thrills, you'll enjoy CHANDU THE MAGICIAN. It has everything you could want in a serial adventure- a dashing hero, a megalomaniacal villain, an exotic setting, and a series of hair-raising perils that keeps the scenario rolling until the end. CHANDU's plot which concerns the title character's supernatural efforts to prevent the fiendish Roxor from taking over the world is trite and simplistic. However, the story's very triteness and simplicity is part of CHANDU's corny charm.

CHANDU boasts dazzling set design and fluid cinematography that create a fascinating, mysterious Egyptian milieu with majestic temple sets and an atmospheric desert locale. CHANDU's sense of adventure and mystique is further enhanced by special effects illustrating the powers of both Chandu and a death ray Roxor plans to employ in his world-domination plot. Even by today's Industrial Light and Magic standards, these effects look impressive.

Edmund Lowe is acceptable in the title role of Chandu but Bela Lugosi in the role of Roxor steals the film. Lugosi tackles his part with a demonic zeal, displaying odious glee over his scheme in both his facial expressions and line deliveries. There is little restraint or subtlety in his performance, but Lugosi projects such persuasive charisma that one can forgive his indulgences. Overall, CHANDU is no classic, but it's fun escapist entertainment.


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