The Mask of Fu Manchu

Critics Consensus

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88%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 8

53%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 967

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Movie Info

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.

Cast & Crew

Boris Karloff
Dr. Fu Manchu
Lewis Stone
Nayland Smith
Myrna Loy
Fah Lo See
Charles Starrett
Terrence Granville
Lawrence Grant
Sir Lionel Barton
Sax Rohmer
Writer (Story)
William Axt
Original Music
Tony Gaudio
Cinematographer
Ben Lewis
Film Editor
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Critic Reviews for The Mask of Fu Manchu

All Critics (8) | Fresh (7) | Rotten (1)

Audience Reviews for The Mask of Fu Manchu

  • Oct 23, 2016
    Hokey, campy, and highly entertaining. This movie is a bit more of a thriller along the lines of Indiana Jones than it is a horror film, but there are many cool touches packed into its 68 minutes. The race is on to get to the tomb of Genghis Khan, and we first see Boris Karloff in the role of Fu Manchu with his exaggerated facial features further distorted in a convex mirror, sporting absurdly long fingernails, and drinking a bubbly, steaming concoction. Later we'll see him torturing a captive with a giant gong, and presiding over an operating room which has lizards and snakes clamoring to get out of jars, a giant python, and a tarantula he extracts poison from. The sinister operation is presided over by the inscrutable Myrna Loy with her cat-like face, calming smoking what appears to be a hookah, as well as a bunch of bare-chested African-American guys on pedestals with arms crossed. Injections are needed for one of the captives to make him Loy's "more than willing slave, until of course she tires of him" - loved that. There are also a couple of death traps that will remind you of 007 films from 30 years later, including an alligator pit, and how can you not love a laser scene from 1932? It's all truly over the top, and the sets are fantastic. Is the film racist? Well, yes, but I found it less disturbing than others from the time period. Despite the whitewashing of Hollywood - Karloff, Loy, and other Caucasians in Asian roles - I liked the strength of their characters, in direct contrast to the more common fawning, servile roles. Then again, Karloff bellows "Kill the white man, and take his women!" towards the end, in what likely directly stoked the "yellow fear" of the day. Still, I took more offense to the gap-tooth, goofy waiter ringing the dinner bell at the end, than I did to Karloff or Loy. You have to be able to forgive the filmmakers a bit, but if you can, I think you'll enjoy this one too.
    Antonius B Super Reviewer
  • Nov 23, 2015
    If you can put aside the wild racism of the time this is an okay pre-code adventure with the male lead being sexually objectify for a change. This was during the misguided period when Myrna Loy was being cast as an Oriental baddie.
    jay n Super Reviewer
  • Oct 04, 2010
    well i have to say this was really fun but also quite racist. karloff is having a blast here, the costumes and sets are high camp, myrna loy as an oriental princess and assorted bizarre torture devices. what else could u possibly want?
    Stella D Super Reviewer
  • Feb 12, 2010
    So I have a list that I am going off of and this was on there as a Horror Movie. Its not really scary, but Boris Karloff turns in a pretty chilling performance as the evil and sadistic Dr. Fu Manchu. The movie is known for the torture scenes in which Fu Manchu puts his victims through, the bell one in this is one of my favorites. I really enjoyed this and thought that it would be a pretty decent thriller. Boris Karloff is one of the greats, Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney, and Lon Chaney Jr. are all some of the greatest early film actors of all time. What we have here is a group of scientists searching out the mask and sword of Genghis Khan. Dr. Fu Manchu wants to get his hands on the items so that he can summon Genghis Khan to come and destroy the Western World. More importantly kill all of the white men. There are some amazing electricity effects that Boris Karloff does himself with, what looks like, a Tesla Coil. The effects are enough for you to really sit through it. On the scary scale though this has to rake in a easy 6 of 10. Though it is not scary what-so-ever. Kill the white man - Dr. Fu Manchu Sid
    Brandon S Super Reviewer

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