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The Brides of Fu Manchu (1966)

Not Rated | | Adventure, Crime | 16 December 1966 (USA)
Fu Manchu and his army of henchmen are kidnapping the daughters of prominent scientists and taking them to his remote island headquarters. Instead of asking for ransom, Fu demands that the ... See full summary »


Don Sharp


Sax Rohmer (characters), Harry Alan Towers (screenplay) (as Peter Welbeck)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Christopher Lee ... Fu Manchu
Douglas Wilmer ... Nayland Smith
Heinz Drache ... Franz Baumer
Marie Versini ... Marie Lentz
Howard Marion-Crawford ... Doctor Petrie (as Howard Marion Crawford)
Tsai Chin ... Lin Tang
Rupert Davies ... Jules Merlin
Kenneth Fortescue Kenneth Fortescue ... Sergeant Spicer
Joseph Fürst ... Otto Lentz (as Joseph Furst)
Roger Hanin ... Inspector Pierre Grimaldi
Harald Leipnitz ... Nikki Sheldon
Carole Gray ... Michel Merlin
Burt Kwouk ... Feng
Salmaan Peerzada ... Abdul (as Salmaan Peer)
Ric Young ... Control Assistant (as Eric Young)


Fu Manchu and his army of henchmen are kidnapping the daughters of prominent scientists and taking them to his remote island headquarters. Instead of asking for ransom, Fu demands that the fathers help him to build a death ray, which he intends to use to take over the world. But Fu's archenemy, Sir Denis Nayland Smith of Scotland Yard, is determined not to let that happen. Written by Marty McKee <mmckee@wkio.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The master of evil takes a harem of horror! See more »


Adventure | Crime


Not Rated | See all certifications »



UK | West Germany


English | German

Release Date:

16 December 1966 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die 13 Sklavinnen des Dr. Fu Man Chu See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)


Color (Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Douglas Wilmer replaced Nigel Green. See more »


All the Brides, including the 2 leading women, were dressed and coiffed strictly in 1966 styles, which worked against the period flavor of the piece. See more »


Sir Dennis Nayland Smith: You have nothing to celebrate, Fu Manchu. The arms conference is safe. You are beaten.
Fu Manchu: That is where you are wrong, Commissioner. In a few moments there will be no arms conference.
Sir Dennis Nayland Smith: You will release that girl now and order your men to line up over there. I will count three before I fire. One... two...
Fu Manchu: [to henchman] Send her to the snakes!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Final entry in the opening credits cast list is 'The Brides of Fu Manchu'. See more »

Alternate Versions

When originally released theatrically in the UK, the BBFC made cuts to secure a 'U' rating (with cuts). All cuts were waived in 1991 when the film was granted a 'U' certificate for home video. See more »


Follows Karamaneh (1924) See more »

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User Reviews

"It's A Bit Over-Dramatic, Isn't It, Commissioner?"
20 March 1999 | by stryker-5See all my reviews

The nefarious Fu Manchu is bent on world domination, and he has built a heinous gizmo in the Atlas Mountains of French Morocco which will bring the world's governments to heel. His contrivance is able to transmit massive energy charges in the form of soundwaves. In order to handle the technology, Fu Manchu needs western scientific experts, and he acquires these men by the fiendish ploy of kidnapping their daughters (all beautiful 20-somethings) and threatening to chuck the girls into his ghoulish snakepit. Unfortunately for the Chinese arch-villain, Assistant Commissioner Nayland Smith of Scotland Yard is on the case ....

If the 'Fu' films which came after this one were considerably worse in quality, then they must have been execrable. This dire effort is difficult to watch, and two reviews would not be sufficient space to list all the improbabilities and nonsense contained herein. Portentous music and mock-heroic acting by Douglas Wilmer (Nayland Smith) and Christopher Lee (Fu) sit uneasily with cheap fibreglass sets and weak stunt choreography.

Nayland Smith and his sidekick Dr. Petrie are obviously meant to be Holmes-Watson imitations. The film is set in some vague period of the early 20th century, with Edwardian touches (uniforms of jailers and nurses, telephone handsets) but with aircraft and automobiles of later periods. Marie Lenz (Marie Versini) dresses like a 60's girl, with her short skirts and mink coat. The captive girls and Fu's daughter Lin Tang (Tsai Chin) sport the ultimate in 60's lacquered coiffure, which seems to stay in place no matter how they are chained to pillars, held over snakepits or roughed up by Fu's guards. One of the girls has a very exposed black bra, hardly an Edwardian garment.

When Marie and Franz are attacked near the Tower of London, Fu's men obligingly come at Franz one at a time, rather than overwhelming him - a curious behaviour trait repeated elsewhere in the film. Marie is a nurse, but she attends the ballet in a mink coat and sits in the royal box.

"They live only to serve me," says Fu of the beautiful girls whom he can hypnotise with a glance. So why does he chain them to pillars? Petrie has a suspiciously modern-looking wireless set in his home, and an even more suspiciously convenient uncle at the BBC. Nayland Smith laughably orders 'three carloads' of police officers to accompany him to Limehouse, and makes a personal call to the Home Secretary on a whim. Worse follows.

Bert Kwouk, the ever-present British-Chinese actor, plays Feng, Fu Manchu's reliable technical boffin. Feng is worried about the power loads that Fu is demanding, because they might start a 'chain reaction' (an electro-magnetic chain reaction? huh?) Nobody even attempts to explain how the millions of tons of equipment found its way to Morocco and got assembled without the knowledge of the French authorities. Why do the men in the sham police vehicle drive to the scene in Fu costumes, and put on police uniforms once they are in situ?

At the end, the ominous voice of Fu Manchu tells us that we will hear from him again. That is the most dreadful moment in the film - the threat of a sequel.

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