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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 »

Director:

Don Sharp

Writer:

Harry Alan Towers (screenplay) (as Peter Welbeck)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Christopher Lee ... Fu Manchu
Nigel Green ... Nayland Smith
Joachim Fuchsberger ... Carl Jannsen
Karin Dor ... Maria Muller
James Robertson Justice ... Sir Charles
Howard Marion-Crawford ... Dr. Petrie (as Howard Marion Crawford)
Tsai Chin ... Lin Tang
Walter Rilla ... Muller
Harry Brogan Harry Brogan ... Gaskell
Francesca Tu ... Lotus (as Poulet Tu)
Archie O'Sullivan Archie O'Sullivan ... Chamberlain
Edwin Richfield ... Chief Magistrate
Joe Lynch Joe Lynch ... Custodian
Peter Mosbacher ... Hanumon (as Peter Mossbacher)
Ric Young ... 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 {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | West Germany

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

24 October 1965 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Mask of Fu Manchu See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (2003)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the first of the "Fu Manchu" movies starring Sir 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

[first lines]
Chief Magistrate: In the name of Imperial China, your presence is commanded here to witness an execution.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In the West German version of the film, some character names are changed, different music is used, and the German actors Joachim Fuchsberger and Karin Dor are credited first. In addition, this version was cut by ca. 9 minutes. See more »

Connections

Follows The Clue of the Pigtail (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 bella-6See 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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