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October 16, 2010

The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932)


The Mask of Fu Manchu was filmed back in the day when it was all applied archaeology.

Nayland Smith: What do you expect to find in that tomb?
Sir Lionel Barton: A record, the golden plate, the threat of Genghis Khan's return, the golden mask he wore, and the famous golden scimitar.
Nayland Smith: Exactly, of course in your hands these things would be merely interesting archaeological specimens to go into British Museum, but should Fu Manchu put that mask across his wicked eyes and take that scimitar into his bony, cruel hands, all Asia rises. He'll declare himself Genghis Khan come to life again. And that, my friend, is what you have got to prevent. You must find that grave, and you must be the first to find it. And you must bring those pretty things back to England.

Features Boris Karloff as Fu Manchu and Myrna Loy as his daughter... Fah Lo See.

Controversy: The Mask of Fu Manchu.

>During its intial release, The Mask of Fu Manchu was criticized by the Chinese government for its hostile depiction of the Chinese, particularly Karloff's line "Would you all have maidens like this for your wives? Then conquer and breed! Kill the white man and take his women!"

Some other critics also objected to the film's depictions of violence and sexuality.[2] The film's re-release in 1972 was met with protest from the Japanese American Citizens League, who stated that "the movie was offensive and demeaning to Asian-Americans." Because of the criticism of the film's racism, the 1992 VHS release of the film removed several scenes containing the most criticized lines of dialogue, such as the "Kill the white man" speech.

YouTube only has part one uploaded. I am just watching it now on Veoh and do not yet know if this version is the money. Even without its injunction to "Kill the white man!" this one is a testament to a golden age for evil overlords.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at October 16, 2010 09:48 AM


This, actually, was the first movie I ever wanted to watch. I was young, but at the age when I was curious about the adult things my father would talk about. My Dad talked about this movie.

I saw it long ago. My interest is reawakened. I will track it down.

Posted by: Sargon the Magnificent [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 16, 2010 11:14 AM

This is the before of Dr. No except, as is just, Dr. No is the main character. They need not have bothered to make any films after 1932. We could have just watched this one over and over again.

The Veoh player does not seem to have done anything untoward to my machine so the whole thing is there for the viewing should you care to see it streaming.

Posted by: Ghost of a flea [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 16, 2010 12:01 PM

Important note: It is an unbowdlerized version. The "Kill the white man and take his women!" line is intact.

Posted by: Ghost of a flea [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 16, 2010 12:04 PM