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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:

Unrated | 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 »
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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

Cost-conscious Fox studios paid $40,000 for the rights to Chandu. Lugosi received $2500, Ware $1250, Hammond $100, Walthall $1000, and Stuart $300.Filming was completed July 1932. 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

Chandu - aka Frank Chandler: I love the looks of the desert but hate the taste of it.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Masters of Magic: The World of Chandu (2008) 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

 
Proto Indiana Jones style fun
8 January 2016 | by MissSimonettaSee all my reviews

It would not surprise me one bit if Chandu the Magician (1932) was one of the films which inspired George Lucas and Steven Spielberg when they were coming up with the Indiana Jones films back in the 1980s. This is great schlock: a white hatted hero, damsels in distress, and a campy, heartless villain (played with relish by Bela Lugosi in one of his most memorable film roles). Be warned it also shares that key flaw of the IJ films, namely colonial undertones (okay, in this movie, they're more like overtones... big overtones).

The special effects are hit and miss in terms of how they have dated, but really, even that hokey-ness adds to the charm of the movie. Not a second is to be taken seriously and it all moves at a brisk pace. My only regret is that they cast the bloodless Edmund Lowe as the titular hero; you really need someone with more charm and humor here, like a Douglas Fairbanks Jr. or Melvyn Douglas.

If you love camp and cheese, there are few pre-code films that are better.


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