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The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932)

Englishmen race to find the tomb of Genghis Khan before the sinister Fu Manchu does.

Directors:

Charles Brabin, Charles Vidor (uncredited)

Writers:

Irene Kuhn (screen play), Edgar Allan Woolf (screen play) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Boris Karloff ... Dr. Fu Manchu
Lewis Stone ... Nayland Smith
Karen Morley ... Sheila Barton
Charles Starrett ... Terrence Granville
Myrna Loy ... Fah Lo See
Jean Hersholt ... Von Berg
Lawrence Grant ... Sir Lionel Barton
David Torrence ... McLeod
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Storyline

Englishmen race to find the tomb of Genghis Khan. They have to get there fast, as the evil genius Dr. Fu Manchu is also searching, and if he gets the mysteriously powerful relics, he and his diabolical daughter will enslave the world! Written by Ken Yousten <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Frankenstein of the Orient! See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 November 1932 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La máscara de Fu-Manchú See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$327,627 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Boris Karloff actually wore a Chinese woman's wedding dress as costume. See more »

Goofs

Obvious stand-in, special electrical effects wizard 'Kenneth Strickfaden (I)' for Boris Karloff where the electricity sparks off Fu Manchu's fingernails when he applies the electrical test to the fake sword. See more »

Quotes

Nayland Smith: As I remember, that's the Sing Song shop at a place known as the House of Ten Thousand Joys.
Von Berg: You are going there?
Nayland Smith: Yes. I'm sure that it leads to Fu Manchu.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In the 1970's, "Mask of Fu Manchu" was cut slightly (by about 2 minutes), removing references deemed particularly offensive to the Asian-American community (including several racial remarks and an extended version of the famous whipping scene). It is actually this cut version which MGM/UA released in the early 1990's on videotape, although the deleted segments were restored for the print of "Mask of Fu Manchu" used for the later laserdisc release "MGM Horror Classics," and the more recent DVD release. See more »

Connections

Follows The Fiery Hand (1923) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A lusty oriental mix
22 July 2004 | by mik-19See all my reviews

Wonderfully inventive exotic horror movie from the early days of talkies.

An expedition from the British Museum sets out to find the long searched for tomb of legendary warlord Genghis Khan and get to the fabled sword and mask before it is found and usurped by Dr. Fu Manchu, evil contemporary warlord with an unquenchable ambition to extinguish the white race in his lust for power.

'Mask of Fu Manchu' is well worth a watch for its stunning look alone. The sets by Cedric Gibbons are gorgeous to look at, a uniquely Hollywoodian blend of art-deco and tasteful Orientalism, photographed to fantastic effect by Tony Gaudio and evocatively lit. The acting is top-notch with Karloff an exquisitely seductive Fu Manchu and the young Loy a delight as his sadistic daughter. This film could not have been made just a couple of years later, it is decidedly pre-Code in its sexual frankness and the lusty demeanor of the characters. Ex-football star Starrett is more than sufficiently hunky stripped down to a loincloth in a torture scene! But then, the torture of this movie is always a naughty delight, it has so many things in store for us.

Obviously, the question with 'Mask of Fu Manchu' as with others of its time is, Are you able to forgive its naive racism? "You hideous yellow monster!", our heroine hisses contemptuously, but then again, the Brits aren't exactly angels either, the barbaric way these so-called scientists go about breaking open Genghis Khan's tomb, desecrating everything on their way, only barely concealing their avarice ...

A really good film, highly recommended.

7/10


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