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The Return of Chandu (1934)

Approved | | Adventure, Fantasy, Horror | 1 October 1934 (USA)
The Black Magic cult of Ubasti, based on the isle of Lemuria, believes that Nadji, a princess of Egypt, is a reincarnation of their long-dead goddess, Ossana, and intend to sacrifice Nadji ... See full summary »


Ray Taylor


Barry Barringer (adaptation), Barry Barringer | 3 more credits »




Complete credited cast:
Bela Lugosi ... Frank Chandler - Chandu
Maria Alba ... Nadji - Princess of Egypt
Clara Kimball Young ... Dorothy Regent
Lucien Prival ... Vindhyan - High Priest [Chs. 1-4]
Dean Benton Dean Benton ... Bob Regent (as Deane Benton)
Phyllis Ludwig Phyllis Ludwig ... Betty Regent
Cyril Armbrister Cyril Armbrister ... Sutra - Henchman [Ch.1]
Murdock MacQuarrie ... The Supreme Voice of Ubasti [Chs. 4-12]
Wilfred Lucas ... Capt. Wilson [Chs. 4-12]
Josef Swickard ... Tyba - The White Magician [Chs. 8-12]
J.J. Clark ... Vitras - The Black Magician [Chs. 4,5,8-10] (as Jack J. Clark)


The Black Magic cult of Ubasti, based on the isle of Lemuria, believes that Nadji, a princess of Egypt, is a reincarnation of their long-dead goddess, Ossana, and intend to sacrifice Nadji so that Ossana may be resurrected. Nadji has taken refuge at the California home of Frank Chandler, an American raised in the east and possessed of White Magical powers, who calls himself "Chandu". Vindhyan, high priest of the cult's California outpost, learns of this and ultimately succeeds in placing her in a trance which Chandu cannot easily break, propelling him to move her to safety, choosing the port of Suva in the South Seas. There, aided by his sister Dorothy, nephew Bob and niece Betty, Chandu is able to revive her and deal with Vindhyan, only to have the evil Voice of Ubasti, highest of the high priests, spirit her to Lemuria through the magic Circle of Ola. Chandu, Dorothy, Bob and Betty set out in pursuit but end up shipwrecked on Lemuria itself, with his family also now held for ... Written by <RichWannen@worldnet.att.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Thrill of Thrills! The Master Magician is Back! You will thrill at his amazing new adventures in this latest and greatest mystery drama


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Story takes place in the fictitious South Pacific continent of Lemuria, which some purport existed in ancient times, much like Atlantis in the Bermuda Triangle. However, no scientist has ever backed up these claims with any concrete evidence whatsoever. See more »


At the end of Chapter 3, Nadjia wakes up twice: she wakes up, goes to the window. The camera cuts to the boat that's outside the window, then it cuts to Nadjia waking up again, and the same footage of her going to the window and seeing the boat outside is replayed. The next frame she is carried out unconscious, without showing her fainting. See more »


Chandu's Teacher (voice over): Again I say: let not thy fear control you.
Chandu's Teacher (voice over): [recurring] Have faith, my son, have faith!
See more »


Followed by Chandu on the Magic Island (1935) See more »

User Reviews

Much footage sewn onto fantasy serial.
26 December 2001 | by rsoonsaSee all my reviews

Bela Lugosi is not typecast in this fantastic twelve-part adventure serial, playing the lead as Frank Chandler/Chandu the Magician, enjoying his role as a representative of the forces of White Magic pushed against those of Black, while displaying vigourous fighting skill, successfully wooing a young Egyptian princess, and cutting a lean and dashing figure in yachting gear, complete with nautical cap. The somewhat lumpy plot engages Chandler/Chandu in an ongoing series of escapades pointed at achieving the rescue of his fiancee, Princess Nadji(Maria Alba) and others from the clutches of the idol-worshipping sect of Ubasti, which covets Nadji's blood in order to revivify an ancient mummified princess entombed upon the mysterious island of Lemuria. Director Ray Taylor, an old hand at such entertainments keeps events moving briskly, but repeated scenes and footage, a good deal of which is to be found in the previous year's Skull Island setting from KING KONG, and the port locale from SON OF KONG, reduces original action to less than 60 minutes from the serial's running length of over two and one-half hours and, if viewed at one sitting, becomes lacking in effect to most viewers, unless insomniac.

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Release Date:

1 October 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Return of Chandu the Magician See more »

Filming Locations:

San Pedro, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (12 chapters) | (theatrical)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Victor System)| Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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