The Face of Fu Manchu (1965)


‘The Face Of Fu Manchu’ is the first in a series of five movies produced by the legendary Harry Allan Towers. Towers is probably best known for his collaborations with Jess Franco, indeed Franco directed the last two movies in the series, but this one is directed by Don Sharp (‘Rasputin: The Mad Monk’, ‘Psychomania’) and scripted by Towers himself. Horror legend Christopher Lee plays the fiendish Dr Fu Manchu, super criminal, and Nigel Green (‘Zulu’, ‘Countess Dracula’) plays his nemesis Sir Nayland Smith. Towers plays fast and loose with Sax Rohmer’s original characters and stories with entertaining results. The main reason the movie works is because of the performances by Lee and especially Green, who is just terrific. The plot concerns the kidnapping of a German scientist (played by Joachim Fuchsberger) who Fu Manchu forces to develop a super weapon. The lovely Karin Dor (‘You Only Live Twice’) plays the scientist’s daughter, Tsai Chin is Fu Manchu’s evil daughter Lin Tang, and Howard Marion-Crawford is Nayland Smith’s Watson-like sidekick Dr. Petrie. ‘The Face Of Fu Manchu’ isn’t a great movie by any means but it’s fun to watch, and a great way to spend a rainy afternoon.

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