The Mask of Fu Manchu

The Mask of Fu Manchu

Movie: The Mask of Fu Manchu
Director: Charles J. Brabin / Charles Vidor / King Vidor
Produced by: MGM
Released By: MGM
MPAA Rating: NR

Boris Karloff stars as the villainous Dr. Fu Manchu in this wild and wooly — and wildly racist — adventure yarn, based on Sax Rohmer’s fiction about the personification of the “yellow peril.” Sir Nayland Smith of the British Secret Service recruits Sir Lionel Barton to lead an expedition with Prof. Von Berg and McLeod to the Gobi Desert, to find the tomb of Genghis Khan and retrieve the scimitar and golden mask held within. To Barton, these are mere archeological trophies, but Smith has learned that Dr. Fu Manchu also has his designs on them, and if he gets hold of these artifacts, he will use them to cause a rising in the East, and foment a war for the destruction of the white race. The action is fast and furious, resembling a Saturday-morning serial, as Barton is kidnapped and brought to Fu Manchu, who proceeds to torture him to find the location of the tomb. Barton’s daughter, Sheila, replaces her father to guide the expedition, accompanied by her fiancĂ©, Terry Granville. They find the tomb and retrieve the sword and mask, and find themselves in the company of Nayland Smith as they try to return to England, and surrounded by enemies on all sides. One man is dead and soon Terry is in the hands of Fu and his sadistic daughter Fah Lo See, who proceeds to torture him, Nayland Smith is slowly being lowered into a pit of crocodiles, Von Berg is trapped between moving spiked walls, and Sheila Barton is about to be sacrificed as part of the ritual in which Fu will declare himself the reincarnation of Genghis Khan.

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