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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


TODAY - His 168th Birthday. TONIGHT - A little fun with Alice. TOMORROW - The World. See more »


Comedy | Crime | Fantasy


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


The opening prologue states that the movie is set "possibly around 1933". 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: I had no idea that mere domestic power could be so stimulating.
See more »


Follows The Clue of the Pigtail (1923) See more »


Toccata and Fugue In d minor
Music by Johann Sebastian Bach
See more »

User Reviews

Satisfying for Sellers fans
30 May 2006 | by bierlingen-1See all my reviews

While "The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu" is by no means the best of Peter Sellers' work, for those who are fans and appreciate his whole output, the movie is enjoyable. Multiple characters for Sellers, "Goon Show"-type humor, a measure of unreality and strong supporting performances all contribute to it. The movie manages to mix only a few out-and-out laughs with some more subtle comedy, some farce, and even a few moments to ponder. The fact that it was Sellers' last performance might add to its attachment for fans, but I'll argue that it is a good and under-appreciated comedy. I'll hang onto my VHS copy and hope that a DVD version is produced.

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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
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