The Face of Fu Manchu


1h 36m 1965
The Face of Fu Manchu

Brief Synopsis

A villainous doctor creates a killer spray in order to conquer London.

Film Details

Genre
Horror
Release Date
Jan 1965
Premiere Information
San Francisco opening: 13 Oct 1965
Production Company
Hallam Productions
Distribution Company
Seven Arts Pictures
Country
United Kingdom
Location
Dublin, Ireland
Screenplay Information
Based on characters created by Sax Rohmer.

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 36m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Synopsis

In London the archvillain Fu Manchu and his evil daughter, Lin Tang, kidnap Professor Muller, a German biochemist who has distilled a new, highly lethal gas from the seeds of a Tibetan poppy. In a radio broadcast, Fu Manchu announces that he intends to use the poison gas to gain world domination. The professor's daughter, Maria, informs Scotland Yard's Nayland Smith of her father's abduction, thus confirming Smith's suspicion that Fu Manchu masterminded the kidnaping, although Smith witnessed Fu Manchu's execution in China several years before. Fu Manchu kidnaps Maria to force Muller to produce more gas, whereupon Muller insists that to do so he needs some papers located in the British Museum in the possession of Professor Gaskell. Carl Jansen, Professor Muller's assistant who has also been kidnaped, escapes from his captors and warns Nayland Smith that Fu Manchu's men intend to break into the British Museum; but the papers are not found, and Fu Manchu, informed by Lin Tang that Gaskell may have the papers in his home, hypnotizes Gaskell, abducts him, and forces him to work with Muller. To show the effect of the poison gas, Fu Manchu destroys the entire village of Fleetwick with only a small quantity, but Nayland Smith stops Fu Manchu before he wreaks more destruction; he floods Fu Manchu's hideout (a tunnel under the Thames) and rescues Maria, only to learn that Fu Manchu has escaped and taken Muller hostage. Guessing that the archvillain is bound for Tibet to collect more poppyseeds, Nayland Smith lays a trap for Fu Manchu. Muller is rescued, and Fu Manchu, Lin Tang, and the rest of the gang presumably perish in an explosion.

Film Details

Genre
Horror
Release Date
Jan 1965
Premiere Information
San Francisco opening: 13 Oct 1965
Production Company
Hallam Productions
Distribution Company
Seven Arts Pictures
Country
United Kingdom
Location
Dublin, Ireland
Screenplay Information
Based on characters created by Sax Rohmer.

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 36m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (Technicolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Articles

The Face of Fu Manchu -


While he forestalled his inevitable return to the opera cape and eye teeth extensions of Dracula (US: Horror of Dracula, 1958) for Hammer Film Productions after a seven year absence, Christopher Lee signed on to play novelist Sax Rohmer's Chinese mastermind, "the Napoleon of crime," in the British-Irish-German co-production The Face of Fu Manchu (1965). "The first one should have been the last one," Lee wrote in 1983 "Because it was the only really good one." Though expressing himself with an economy of emotion befitting an international supervillain, Lee in fact has great fun in the title role, betraying a sly sense of humor not often evident in his more iconic performances. As the actor would ultimately return, albeit begrudgingly, as the star of Hammer's Dracula, Prince of Darkness (1965) and soldier through five more sequels, producer Harry Alan Towers (who scripted under the nom de plume "Peter Wellbeck") called Lee back four more times to play Fu Manchu in continued adventures of diminishing quality. Though Lee was pleased with The Face of Fu Manchu as a change of pace, filming in Ireland in January was far from ideal, with several of the cast and crew being struck down with influenza; Lee also found the Asiatic eye makeup, which took two hours to apply, uncomfortable in the extreme. The film did sufficiently well in America to inspire a New York movement to nominate Fu Manchu for mayor.

By Richard Harland Smith
The Face Of Fu Manchu -

The Face of Fu Manchu -

While he forestalled his inevitable return to the opera cape and eye teeth extensions of Dracula (US: Horror of Dracula, 1958) for Hammer Film Productions after a seven year absence, Christopher Lee signed on to play novelist Sax Rohmer's Chinese mastermind, "the Napoleon of crime," in the British-Irish-German co-production The Face of Fu Manchu (1965). "The first one should have been the last one," Lee wrote in 1983 "Because it was the only really good one." Though expressing himself with an economy of emotion befitting an international supervillain, Lee in fact has great fun in the title role, betraying a sly sense of humor not often evident in his more iconic performances. As the actor would ultimately return, albeit begrudgingly, as the star of Hammer's Dracula, Prince of Darkness (1965) and soldier through five more sequels, producer Harry Alan Towers (who scripted under the nom de plume "Peter Wellbeck") called Lee back four more times to play Fu Manchu in continued adventures of diminishing quality. Though Lee was pleased with The Face of Fu Manchu as a change of pace, filming in Ireland in January was far from ideal, with several of the cast and crew being struck down with influenza; Lee also found the Asiatic eye makeup, which took two hours to apply, uncomfortable in the extreme. The film did sufficiently well in America to inspire a New York movement to nominate Fu Manchu for mayor. By Richard Harland Smith

Quotes

Trivia

Notes

Filmed entirely on location in and around Dublin. Released in Great Britain October 1965; running time: 94 min. Peter Welbeck is a pseudonym of Harry Alan Towers. The Brides of Fu Manchu, q. v., is a sequel to this film.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1965

Techniscope

Released in United States 1965