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The Mask of Fu Manchu

Released Nov 5, 1932 1h 12m Horror List
88% Tomatometer 8 Reviews 51% Audience Score 500+ Ratings The sinister Dr. Fu Manchu (Boris Karloff) and his equally devious daughter, Fah Lo See (Myrna Loy), clash with a British expedition that has set out in search of Genghis Khan's tomb. Working under the guidance of Sir Nayland Smith (Lewis Stone), the English team finds ancient relics -- a mask and a sword. While the group seeks the artifacts for their archeological value, Fu Manchu and Fah Lo See regard them as mystical items that they can use to gain unstoppable power. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

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Critics Reviews

View All (8) Critics Reviews
Matt Brunson Film Frenzy [UPDATED 2024 BLU-RAY REVIEW] Here’s a particularly potent and pungent piece of pre-Code perversity. Rated: 3/4 Oct 17, 2016 Full Review Steve Biodrowski Cinefantastique This is a creaky but entertaining relic from the early sound era. Basically an adventure story...it edges into the horror category thanks to the fiendish torture devices used by the Oriental criminal mastermind - and his sadistic daughter. May 12, 2009 Full Review Dennis Schwartz Dennis Schwartz Movie Reviews An entertaining but politically incorrect hokum escapist adventure story. Rated: B Jun 4, 2008 Full Review John J. Puccio Movie Metropolis ...the film is filled with high camp, Karloff in droopy mustache and long, curled fingernails and Loy in slinky gown and dangly headdress. Rated: 4/10 Oct 5, 2006 Full Review Emanuel Levy EmanuelLevy.Com Rated: 3/5 Jul 4, 2005 Full Review Mark R. Leeper rec.arts.movies.reviews Rated: 3/5 Aug 3, 2004 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

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Audience Member Oh boy, what a poor adaptation. The storyline is confusing, most actors are not that good, and it has maybe one of the worst fighting scene of all time. The scenarios are stunning and the attention to detail is impressive, though. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 01/23/23 Full Review Audience Member The funniest Boris Karloff movie ever, LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/28/23 Full Review Audience Member Myrna Loy is delightfully ambitious in her wild role as Fu Manchu's daughter and she steals the entire movie. This was the last time she would appear as a person of "Far Eastern, Hindu, Hindu/Japanese, half-breed or Chinese yellow-peril" heritage. Times were vastly different in 1932, yet Myrna Loy acts her part with diabolical precision. Quite an impressive performance before going on to star in "Manhattan Melodrama" and the "Thin Man" movies. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/14/23 Full Review Audience Member The best movie character ever portrayed: Boris Karloff as Dr. Fu Manchu! Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/26/23 Full Review Audience Member A time capsule from Hollywood history when being brazenly racist (in this case, against the Chinese) seems to have been A-OK. But the film is so outlandish - and the Chinese baddies so unrealistic, that really they may as well have been alien invaders from outer space (perhaps I am thinking of Ming the Merciless?). Still, it is disheartening to think that American audiences would have thrilled to a battle between the "White Race" and the "Yellow Peril". But let's set that aside if we can and just see the baddies in the film as evil archetypes (who over the course of a century or two might switch their race/culture/subgroup in the popular American imagination but yet still retain their archetypal ways). Boris Karloff plays Fu Manchu, the evil leader lusting for the power represented by Genghis Khan and his long lost mask and scimitar, and Myrna Loy (!!!) plays his sultry but sadistic daughter - both in bad Asian make-up (Karloff is nearly unrecognisable again). The plot sees British archaeologists working for the British Museum racing to locate and excavate Genghis Khan's tomb before Fu Manchu can get there and use Khan's treasure to whip his followers up into a frenzy to begin a new empire. The Brits do get there first but then Fu Manchu uses all of his diabolical tricks to abscond with the treasure and subject the heroes to terrible tortures (tying them under giant ringing bells, suspending them over hungry alligators, and subjecting them to slowly closing walls with huge spikes). I'm sure the audience gasped! And although the required happy ending is soon served up, one ends with the feeling that the heroes have been a little too bland and faceless and the almost campy over-indulgence of the evil side was the real drawcard of the film (hence the title). Rated 3 out of 5 stars 02/04/23 Full Review Audience Member Great fun. Racist as hell, but beautifully shot and well acted for the most part. Delightfully sinister Fu Manchu as portrayed by Boris Karloff. Fantastic sets, albeit low budget. Splendid musical score. Very entertaining! Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/09/23 Full Review Read all reviews
The Mask of Fu Manchu

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Cast & Crew

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Movie Info

Synopsis The sinister Dr. Fu Manchu (Boris Karloff) and his equally devious daughter, Fah Lo See (Myrna Loy), clash with a British expedition that has set out in search of Genghis Khan's tomb. Working under the guidance of Sir Nayland Smith (Lewis Stone), the English team finds ancient relics -- a mask and a sword. While the group seeks the artifacts for their archeological value, Fu Manchu and Fah Lo See regard them as mystical items that they can use to gain unstoppable power.
Director
Charles Brabin, Charles Vidor
Screenwriter
Sax Rohmer, Irene Kuhn, Edgar Allan Woolf, John Willard
Distributor
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Production Co
Metro Goldwyn Mayer, Cosmopolitan Productions
Genre
Horror
Original Language
English
Release Date (Theaters)
Nov 5, 1932, Wide
Release Date (Streaming)
Jan 1, 2009
Runtime
1h 12m
Sound Mix
Mono
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