Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, June 29, 2017


Glen Gordon
THE ADVENTURES OF DR. FU MANCHU. 1956 television series.

A second crop of episodes from this short-lived series has been released. Fu is played quite well by Glen Gordon, with Lester Matthews [Life Begins for Andy Hardy] effective as Sir Denis Nayland Smith and Laurette Luez [African Treasure] rather sexy and efficient as Karamaneh, the doctor's mistress.

In "Vengeance of Fu Manchu" Sir Denis and company investigate whether a chemical company is working on agricultural interests or if its real interest, under Fu Manchu's influence, is weaponry. Lester Matthews does a great drunk bit in this. "Dr. Fu Manchu's Raid" has the villain taking advantage of a  practice emergency air raid to make Americans think their security is compromised, hoping he can take advantage of the resulting stock market plunge, but his hoax is unveiled by Sir Denis. In "The Satellites of Fu Manchu" planes with scientists aboard who are involved in space science disappear one after the other. Smith takes the place of the man he feels will be kidnapped next but when he is captured, he has to figure out if Fu is bluffing or not when he threatens to blow up the other captives. "The Assassins of Fu Manchu" was the last and possibly the best episode of the series, dealing with a young  man (Mason Alan Dinehart) who is trained to kill by Fu Manchu, who actually murdered the boy's father, an agent, years before. Most of these episodes are B- or C+ but this last episode is better and has more action than the other ones I've seen.

You can read about other episodes of this show here.

Verdict: Fu will not be beaten -- or so he thinks! **1/2.
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