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Fu Manchu Double Feature [The Mysterious Dr. Fu Manchu / The Return of Dr. Fu Manchu] (Blu-ray)

Directed by Rowland V. Lee

Release Year: 1929
Running Time: 155
UPC: 7 38329 25891 7
Optional English Subtitles: Yes
Color Type: B&W
Country: U.S.
Language: English
Genres: Thriller, Crime
$29.95 $17.97 (40% off)
Only ships to US & Canada
Cast

Warner Oland
Jean Arthur
Neil Hamilton
O.P. Heggie
William Austin
Claude King
Evelyn Hall
Evelyn Selbie

Crew

Directed by Rowland V. Lee

This special edition includes two pre-code classics. THE MYSTERIOUS DR. FU MANCHU (1929) – The diabolical doctor makes his talkie film debut in The Mysterious Dr. Fu Manchu, based on the first book in Sax Rohmer’s classic series. During the Boxer Rebellion, Dr. Fu Manchu, deviously played by Warner Oland (Charlie Chan in Paris), saves the life of little Lia Eltham; but soon after, his own wife and child are killed by the allied troops. He takes revenge by hypnotizing the now grown Lia, played by screen great Jean Arthur (A Foreign Affair), to do his evil bidding. The world’s most notorious supervillain is born in this Pre-Code chiller from director Rowland V. Lee (Tower of London). Co-starring Neil Hamilton (Commissioner Gordon of TV’s Batman) as Dr. Jack Petrie and O.P. Heggie (The Bride of Frankenstein) as Inspector Nayland Smith. THE RETURN OF DR. FU MANCHU (1930) – The fiendish Dr. Fu is back with a vengeance in The Return of Dr. Fu Manchu, as the evil criminal genius continues his campaign of cruelty on the foggy moors of the English estate where Lia Eltham and Dr. Jack Petrie are set to marry. Director Rowland V. Lee (Son of Frankenstein) returns along with Warner Oland (Charlie Chan’s Secret), Jean Arthur (Easy Living), O.P. Heggie (The Count of Monte Cristo) and Neil Hamilton (Tarzan the Ape Man) for this sequel that’s more menacing, more exciting and more bloodcurdling than the first.


Blu-ray Extras Include:
Brand New 2K Master

NEW Audio Commentaries by Tim Lucas

Trailers

Optional English Subtitles

Contrary to Tim Lucas’s otherwise excellent commentary these films plus the third in the series, THE DAUGHTER OF THE DRAGON (1931) with Anna May Wong, did briefly play on television. I know this because all three titles are available on bootleg DVD from a number of sources from most of which I ordered copies trying to get one that does the pictures justice.

I had given up hope of a legitimate DVD and/or Blu-ray release because I had read there were rights issues. Unfortunately those issues prevented DAUGHTER OF THE DRAGON from being included in this set but it is out there in an upgraded print because the film played on TCM.

My quest for good prints of these two titles ends with the publication of this set. They are everything I wanted and more.

I first read Sax Rohmer’s FU MANCHU stories in my teens. There are 17 books in all. After listening to Tim Lucas I’m ready to read them once again. Rohmer had let Fu rest until the release of these films. Their success prompted him to bring back Fu. I’m glad he did.

I’m also supremely glad Kino Lorber issued this set. Like Fu Manchu I shall return to it.–Reg Hartt

 

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