44 user 9 critic

The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu (1980)

When Fu's age-regressing elixir vitae is spilled by a hapless flunky, Fu Manchu sends his lackeys to round up supplies for a fresh batch of elixir, including a precious jewel, which prompts a team of agents to track him down.


Piers Haggard, Richard Quine (uncredited) | 1 more credit »


Rudy Dochtermann (screenplay), Jim Moloney (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter Sellers ... Fu Manchu / Nayland Smith
Helen Mirren ... Alice Rage
David Tomlinson ... Sir Roger Avery
Sid Caesar ... Joe Capone
Simon Williams ... Robert Townsend
Steve Franken ... Pete Williams
Stratford Johns ... Ismail
John Le Mesurier ... Perkins
John Sharp ... Sir Nules Thudd
Clément Harari Clément Harari ... Dr. Wretch
Kwan-Young Lee Kwan-Young Lee ... Tong
John Tan John Tan ... Dacoit
Philip Tan ... Dacoit
Serge Julien Serge Julien ... Dacoit
Johns Rajohnson Johns Rajohnson ... Dacoit


Fu Manchu's (Peter Sellers') 168th birthday celebration is dampened when a hapless flunky spills Fu's age-regressing elixir vitae. Fu sends his lackeys to round up ingredients for a new batch of elixir, starting with the Star of Leningrad diamond, nabbed from a Soviet exhibition in Washington, D.C. The F.B.I. sends Agents Joe Capone (Sid Caesar) and Pete Williams (Steve Franken) to England to confer with Sir Dennis Nayland Smith (Peter Sellers), an expert on Fu. Nayland suspects Fu will kidnap King George V (Rene Aranda) and Queen Mary (Grace Coyle) and demand the George V diamond as ransom. Scotland Yard recruits Alice Rage (Dame Helen Mirren) to stand-in for the Queen. Fu nabs the "fake" Queen; Rage becomes enamored of Fu and aids him in his quest for the George V diamond. Written by Dennis Lewis <dsl@sprynet.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Seven Peter Sellers for the price of one funny movie See more »


Comedy | Crime | Fantasy


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


"The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu" is not actually the longest title of any "Fu Manchu" movie as The Further Mysteries of Dr. Fu Manchu (1924) (containing the same number of words, but more letters) was slightly longer. See more »


Fu Manchu states he is reminded of the musical "San Francisco" and its stars. Thai film was not released until 1936. However, "Fu Manchu" might be set in 1933, such anachronism can be written off. See more »


Fu Manchu: Nayland Smith again. That is very good news...
Servant: Why is it good news, master?
Fu Manchu: Because I'm in no condition to receive bad news. I shall fine you each 1000 yen.
Servant: But you don't pay us, master.
Fu Manchu: Then I shall start paying you in order to fine you.
See more »


Follows Greywater Park (1924) See more »


Happy Birthday To You
Written by Mildred J. Hill and Patty S. Hill
See more »

User Reviews

Surrealism not for the weak-at-heart/mind
18 July 2001 | by MarsmagusSee all my reviews

Admittedly this movie is unusual, for a start, and may not Sellers' great exit as many had hoped, but there are still incontrovertible facts that remain:

It is one of the few movies I've seen to ever ATTEMPT a throwaway trompe l'oiel, and it achieves it so smoothly and incidentally that I had to rewind it just to make sure I wasn't seeing things. (Clue: Lawnmower, Door, Bust)

The incongruity of dialogue with context was delicious! I mean how can you say a movie where "Queen Elizabeth" languorously - almost ludicrously - prepares to play her sax for Fu Manchu is a loss?

Three Words: My Chinese Buffet.

Three More Words: Japanese Elvis Show.

And the beauty is that I've told you all of this, and I've spoiled absolutely none. Try not to bash it for what it is not, because there is a GREAT deal to what it is.

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Release Date:

8 August 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,399,109, 10 August 1980

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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