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FACE OF FU MANCHU (1965)

 Unrated   DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Product Description

The world can breathe easier. Fu Manchu the crimelord who knows the hidden powers of the mind is dead. No less than Scotland Yard's Nayland Smith witnessed the execution. But beware. Don't expect Fu Manchu to die so conveniently when there's still so much evil to perpetrate. Christopher Lee plays the malevolent anti hero of the popular Sax Rohmer novels for the first time in The Face of Fu Manchu. World domination is the ingenious fiend's goal one increasingly within his long-nailed grasp now that he's discovered a secret potion so toxic that one drop can kill thousands. Pay heed you Nayland Smiths of the world: The forces of evil are very much alive! Are you so foolish as to believe you can oppose the will of Fu Manchu?

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4.0 out of 5 stars Christopher Lee in his second most famous role Dec 1 2002
Format:VHS Tape
The talented Christopher Lee only occasionally involved himself in a long running character in his movie roles and of course his brilliant portrayal of Dracula in a series of films for Hammer Studios has gone into movie folklore. Another character that he portrayed in a series of films and made his own was the evil oriental mastermind Dr. Fu Manchu.
Made famous in the 30's by Boris Karloff and by a long running series in the 40's here Christopher Lee puts his own original stamp on the evil doctor who was always bent on taking over the world by some fiendish method involving torture, deadly weapons and mind games. "The Face Of Fu Manchu" was the first of the films in this new series and was by far the best. It not only offers a wonderfully sinister character for Lee to sink his teeth into (no pun intended) but offers a lavish production with wonderfully recreated 1920's atmosphere, excellent costumes and a fine supporting cast of veteran performers like Nigel Green in the role of Sir Nayland Smith from Scotland Yard who would be Fu Manchu's main nemesis in many an adventure in the future. Equally effective is asian actress Tsai Chin who portrays Lin Tang, Fu Manchu's evil daughter and one of his main cohorts in his evil schemes.
The plot of "The Face Of Fu Manchu" is a straightforward one whereby London experiences a series of grisly deaths and then the kidnapping of famed scientist Prof. Fuchsberger who has discovered a lethal product that if used by those in the know is capable of wiping out huge numbers of people in a short time. It is up to Nayland Smith to try and find the source of these murders and also find the missing scientist before he reveals the secret formula to the evil Fu Manchu who faked his own death in order to throw Scotland Yard off his scent.
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Format:VHS Tape
Who else but the great Christopher Lee could play the nefarious oriental villian Fu Manchu. Perfect casting, great costumnes and atmosphere. Strongly recommend this film to thos ethat like a little old fashioned mystery
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Christopher Lee in his second most famous role Dec 1 2002
By Simon Davis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:VHS Tape
The talented Christopher Lee only occasionally involved himself in a long running character in his movie roles and of course his brilliant portrayal of Dracula in a series of films for Hammer Studios has gone into movie folklore. Another character that he portrayed in a series of films and made his own was the evil oriental mastermind Dr. Fu Manchu.
Made famous in the 30's by Boris Karloff and by a long running series in the 40's here Christopher Lee puts his own original stamp on the evil doctor who was always bent on taking over the world by some fiendish method involving torture, deadly weapons and mind games. "The Face Of Fu Manchu" was the first of the films in this new series and was by far the best. It not only offers a wonderfully sinister character for Lee to sink his teeth into (no pun intended) but offers a lavish production with wonderfully recreated 1920's atmosphere, excellent costumes and a fine supporting cast of veteran performers like Nigel Green in the role of Sir Nayland Smith from Scotland Yard who would be Fu Manchu's main nemesis in many an adventure in the future. Equally effective is asian actress Tsai Chin who portrays Lin Tang, Fu Manchu's evil daughter and one of his main cohorts in his evil schemes.
The plot of "The Face Of Fu Manchu" is a straightforward one whereby London experiences a series of grisly deaths and then the kidnapping of famed scientist Prof. Fuchsberger who has discovered a lethal product that if used by those in the know is capable of wiping out huge numbers of people in a short time. It is up to Nayland Smith to try and find the source of these murders and also find the missing scientist before he reveals the secret formula to the evil Fu Manchu who faked his own death in order to throw Scotland Yard off his scent.What develops is a terrific adventure drama involving Fu Manchu wiping out a whole English Village as a "demonstration" of his power, drowning a female traitor for trying to warm Scotland Yard of his insane scheme and the final closing in on the evil doctor in a monastery in Tibet where he finally meets his much deserved end in an explosion, .......or does he? . I wont go into the tired argument about it being racist for caucasian actors to play asian characters. Christopher Lee brings an excellent majestic quality to the role of Fu Manchu which could not be bettered with its equal portions of intelligence, wordly polish and insanity. He repeated the role in 4 more entries in the series but this film was the one that is most memorable and stylish in its delivery.
I personally love the stories of the mad doctor Fu Manchu bent on taking over the world by foul means and for an exciting and atmospheric adventure story not based in any reality that we would know they can't be beaten. Being a big Christopher Lee fan it is always a pleasure to see him in his other famous role after Dracula and "The Face Of Fu Manchu' is an ideal vechicle to see his great talent for creating evil characters on screen. Enjoy!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First And Best Of The Quintet Oct. 5 2012
By William Amazzini - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Warner Archive has finally released a beautiful 2.35 DVD-R transfer of Director Don Sharp's 'THE FACE OF FU MANCHU'-1965, the first time the film has had a digital release in this country and which was the victim of poor pan and scan VHS tape and Laser disc fodder over the years. The colors are much richer and the lavishness of the scope image makes the film look more expensive than it probably was. Christopher Lee will never look as good in the role as in this first and best outing donning oriental makeup (not the first time, however, having sadistically tore up the screen as Chung King in Director Anthony Bushell's 'THE TERROR OF THE TONGS'- 1961 for Hammer Films) and gleefully sneering at every obstacle put forward by his daughter Lin Tang played beautifully by actress Tsai Chin who would also appear in all films of the series and placed at the feet of nemesis Sir Nayland Smith played by Nigel Green in his sole outing of the series and one of his best performances. Producer Harry Allen Towers would steadily worsen the series by cutting the budgets and eventually handing over the Director's mantle to Jess Franco who would release the last two films and reduce Lee's performance to that of his Hammer Count Dracula as just standing around and spouting out orders. This film also blends the British with the German Edgar Walace Krimi's by having actress Karin Dor and Joachim Fuchsberger along for the ride. It is photographed in gritty fashion by Ernest Steward who graced the Diana Rigg/Emma Peal seasons of 'THE AVENGERS' with his camerawork and has a brassy music score by Christopher Whelen. The screenplay is by Towers here billed as Peter Welbeck loosely based on the Sax Rohmer characters. Sharp directs excellently bringing a combination of espionage and comic book formulas to the proceedings especially at the explosive climax at Fu Manchu's monastery. As Lee echoes at the end of the film 'The world shall hear from me again', it most certainly would but not as excellently as in this first atmospheric excursion.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best in the series...thanks for region-free DVD players Dec 13 2004
By Darren Harrison - Published on Amazon.com
Format:VHS Tape
So far only available on VHS in Region 1, I picked up the Region 2 DVD release of `Face of Fu Manchu' recently and blessed my region-free DVD player for every wonderful fun-filled moment of this enjoyable fantasy romp.

Based on the character originally envisioned by British author Sax Rohmer, Christopher Lee made a total of five appearances in the 1960s as arch villain Fu Manchu. This entry (the first in the series) is by far the best, closely followed by the second `Brides of Fu Manchu' (another Region 2 only DVD release).

What makes this entry so enjoyable is the wonderful Nigel Green as Fu Manchu's greatest nemesis - Nayland Smith of Scotland Yard. In fact it is in the opening minutes of this movie that we see Smith invited by the Chinese government to witness the execution of Fu Manchu.

Fast forward a couple of months and Smith is sturdy in his belief that Fu Manchu survived and is behind a series of grisly crimes in western Europe. Then when a professors servant is found murdered in the same manner in which Fu Manchu's followers had practiced, Smith becomes even more convinced that he is up against the evil genius.

Through a series of machinations Smith learns that the professor has been kidnapped by Fu Manchu and is being forced to make a toxin that could wipe out most of the western world. Of course (in a plot device also used in the following `Brides of Fu Manchu') the professors daughter has also been captured and is being used to comply the professor to complete his task.

Directed with skill by Don Sharp this movie is fast-paced enough to overlook the plot holes and colorful enough to keep the fun factor umpped up to the ultimate degree. It's a visual feast and the movie is also helped by a tight script and some well drawn characters. I grew up watching these movies on British television and my memories did not disappoint me.

Also notable is the inclusion of one-time Bond girl Karin (You Only Live Twice) Dor ho turns in a strong performance as the professors daughter.

This is an ultimate Saturday afternoon movie to be watched relaxed in a recliner with a bag of popcorn in one hand and a soda in the other, all the while reveling in every outlandish moment.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best Fu films Dec 7 2012
By M. Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a review of the Warner Archive burn on demand DVD.

Fu Manchu plans to dominate the world through the use of the poisonous extract of a rare Tibetan poppy. The only problem is that the extract is unstable above the freezing point. Fu threatens to torture the daughter of a scientist unless he finds a way to stabilize the poison. With Nayland Smith (Nigel Green) on the case, time is running out. This may be the best of the five Christopher Lee Fu Manchu films -- though "The Brides of Fu Manchu" is a very close second.

The film is widescreen (2.35:1) and in very good condition. The DVD comes in a case with a printed cover just like a regular DVD. However, there are absolutely no extras -- the only menu choice is "play"!

Recommended.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars First Class thriller on a Second Class format May 16 2013
By Bob S - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
You have to wonder what Warner Bros. is thinking at times. For years they have had the U.S. home video rights to the first three/best three (of the five) Fu Manchu films starring Christopher Lee, which were long only available on VHS. Meanwhile, the last two films in the franchise (directed by Jess Franco and generally regarded as the weakest entries in the series) were given deluxe DVD treatment by Blue Underground. So when the folks at WB finally decided to debut Fu Manchu on DVD, instead of going with THE FACE OF FU MANCHU (the film that started it all) they picked film #2, BRIDES OF FU MANCHU, and paired it with CHAMBER OF HORRORS for a DVD double feature. This would have been fine if they would have at least paired their remaining two Fu's as a second DVD double feature. But FACE OF FU MANCHU and the third film, VENGEANCE OF FU MANCHU, were allowed to gather dust for a few more years before Warner finally dumped them onto no-frills DVD-Rs as part of their Archives Collection. This film, and the fans, deserved better.

Warner has said the DVD-R/MOD format is cheaper to use, but they certainly don't pass the savings onto their customers, as these titles tend to run higher than a real DVD. If a company like VCI can use the DVD-R format and reduce the price to reflect the cost-cutting approach of MOD, there is no reason Warner (and other major studios) could not follow suit. Sadly, Warners has started taking a number of titles previously released on DVD and reissuing them as DVD-R, at the higher price but without the bonus features of the original discs. (Leaving the consumer to pay more for less.) Given how many "boutique" labels release deluxe DVD editions of obscure Euro-horror to an appreciative audience, Warner Bros. could have easily done the same here. Even their more high-profile library of classic Hammer Horror titles have been treated indifferently by the studio on DVD. Given how many times this issue with WB has been addressed in reviews, both in print and on line, you can't help but feel Warner doesn't really understand what it's got. With the recent BFI restorations done on HORROR OF DRACULA, CURSE OF FRANKENSTEIN and Hammer's THE MUMMY, coupled with the deluxe DVD/Blu-Ray combo packs of some of the other Hammer titles, the market for this material is out there. And while the Fu Manchu films are not Hammer productions, the presence of Christopher Lee has given that franchise its own following.
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