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The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932)

 
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 7:07 pm    Post subject: The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932) Reply with quote




In the 1930s, Hollywood produced many weird, atmospheric films — but not many as weird as this one.

Boris Karloff excels in his portrayal of the oriental villain with the dagger-like fingernails and a passionate need to conquer the world. Fu Manchu plans to steal two priceless artifacts on display at the British Museum, a mask and sword that belonged to Ghengis Khan. With these objects in his possession he can inspire the oriental populace of the world to rise up and wipe out the hated Caucasian race.

Fu Manchu also has a death ray he plans to use in the coming battle. His torture chamber is filled with loathsome devices. Example: archaeologist Jean Hersholt is placed between two spiked-studded plates that close hydraulically like a giant vice-clamp.

Myrna Loy ("The Thin Man") plays Fu Manchu's slinky daughter. On the side of good is Inspector Nayland Smith (Lewis Stone) of Scotland Yard, a worthy adversary for the evil arch-villain.

This is a first-rate film version of Sax Rohmer's classic character. Sets, costumes, and props (especially the death ray) are terrific. Directed by Charles Brabin
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Last edited by Bud Brewster on Fri Mar 23, 2018 10:15 am; edited 2 times in total
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scotpens
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 1:39 am    Post subject: Re: The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932) Reply with quote

Bud Brewster wrote:
. . . Fu Manchu also has a death ray he plans to use in the coming battle. His torture chamber is filled with loathsome devices.

Well, what kind of torture chamber would it be if it were filled with comfy chairs and soft cushions?


Last edited by scotpens on Sat Apr 13, 2019 12:08 am; edited 1 time in total
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Pow
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2015 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iron Man's arch nemesis the Mandarin was based upon Fu ManChu.

Interestingly enough in our politically correct age, Fu was the villain in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. However, in the film the villain becomes Professor Moriarity, a white male.

IM also avoided having an Asian character as the primary villain.

Wonder if Asian actors agree with such alterations, or look upon it as a missed opportunity to do a great villain role.

The Shadow movie retained the Asian foe & cast an Asian actor in the role.
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Bud Brewster
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 30, 2015 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pow wrote:
The Shadow movie retained the Asian foe & cast an Asian actor in the role.


Well, I guess that explains why The Shadow was such a bit hit, eh? Very Happy
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Custer
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2015 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the Iron Man movie they did set up The Mandarin as a big oriental villain - only to reveal [spoiler alert] that he was actually a figurehead for the real bad guy, and played by an English actor. Which was a kind of fun way of handling the situation... after all, the Chinese market for big Hollywood movies is huge, even when you add in all the video piracy they get up to!
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Phantom
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2015 2:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a one-of-a-kind, pre-code delight. Karloff hams it up in grand style, there are torture devices galore and ripe dialogue that must be heard to be believed (Kill the white man and take his women!).

Christopher Lee played Fu in the sixties, but he was nowhere near as much fun as Karloff having the time of his life squeezing Jean Hersholt between those glistening spiked plates.
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Robert (Butch) Day
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2015 2:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The author of the Fu Manchu series, Sax Rohmer (real name Arthur Henry Ward) in creating Dr. Fu Manchu, his chief agent, K??raman??h, and his daughter Fah lo Suee; all nemeses to Sir Denis Nayland Smith and Dr. Petrie, Rohmer made the most successful of the imitators of Sherlock Holmes.

Although he did not create the "Yellow Peril" concept, he was responsible for making it a stable plot line for decades.

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Eadie
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2019 12:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm having lots of fun reading these Old threads. It also inspired me to see what photos are in Butch's archives. I found a lot. On this movie nearly 40 pictures so far!
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