Tuesday, July 04, 2017

Overlooked Movies: The Face of Fu Manchu

The Face of Fu Manchu was the first in a series of Fu Manchu movies starring Christopher Lee as the insidious doctor.  It's also supposed to be the best of them, which doesn't encourage me to see any of the others.  There are quite a few dumb things in the movie, including some bad continuity and things that don't make much sense. 

The plot's a standard one about one of Fu Manchu's attempts to take over the world, this time with a deadly poison, a small amount of which can kill millions.  Can he be stopped in time?  [SPOILER ALERT] Of course he can, but it's a near thing. [END OF SPOILER ALERT]  There are as many fistfights as in a Republic serial, but they're not done as well as William Whitney directed for that studio.

Nigel Green makes a dandy Nayland Smith, and Howard Marion-Crawford is an adequate Dr. Petrie.  Lee is his usual imposing self, but he doesn't really have much to do and isn't around much.  The color is nice.  I don't recommend going out of your way to see this.  It's okay, but that's about all.

7 comments:

George said...

Loved the early Fu Manchu books that PYRAMID published back in the Sixties. Haven't seen any of the movies.

Graham Powell said...

Nigel Green was such a good actor. Wish he had lived to make some more films.

Fred Blosser said...

I liked FACE OF FU MANCHU, which I saw on the big screen about the time I was really into the Sax Rohmer novels via the Pyramid editions that George mentioned. Karin Dor and Tsai Chin were both cuties.

Jerry House said...

Since I have no taste, I enjoy all the Fu Manchu flicks.

Don Coffin said...

The single worst...well, among the five worst theatrical presentations I have ever experienced was an adaptation of a Fu Manchu story by the Organic Theatre in Chicago in the mid 1980s. Mind-boggling bad. (Which is about how I felt about the only Fu Manchu movie I ever tried to watch...on TV...changed channels after about 20 minutes.)

Todd Mason said...

MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER had some fun with one of the later ones. http://www.shoutfactorytv.com/mystery-science-theater-3000/mst3k-the-castle-of-fu-manchu/54bd4f6869702d070ae03d00

Todd Mason said...

Always happy to see Tsai Chin in my youth. Doesn't upset me now, either.