The Beauties of Fu Manchu

Christopher Lee in The Brides of Fu Manchu (1966)

It comes to the intention of Sir Denis Nayland Smith of Scotland Yard that some of the World's most prominent scientists are going missing and sets about getting to the bottom of things. What he discovers is that the dastardly Fu Manchu and his henchmen are kidnapping the daughter's of these scientists and forcing these great men to help build a death ray on his remote island.

Quick question: do you enjoy those 60s movies where someone throws a punch at a henchman and it clearly misses but the henchman flies backwards as if he has been caught with a huge upper cut? Well if you do there is a very good chance that "The Brides of Fu Manchu", which sees Christopher Lee return to the role of Fu Manchu, will be right up your street as it is full of that sort of false action. In fact with "The Brides of Fu Manchu" featuring Douglas Wilmer as Nayland Smith and Howard Marion-Crawford as his crime solving buddy this has a touch of the "Batman" about it as they go after Fu Manchu.

The thing is that of course "The Brides of Fu Manchu" is a product of the 60s and in many ways it is the sort of thing which to work now you would have needed to watch back then when growing up. When watched now various things stick out with of course Christopher Lee made up to look oriental being the major one although look past that and Lee turns in a perfectly decent performance with plenty of sinister going on. The other thing is that every woman in this appears to be a beauty and I suspect the producers of this went out of their way to cast only the most attractive young women they could find.

What this all boils down to is that "The Brides of Fu Manchu" probably did entertain audiences back in 1966 and possibly will still entertain those same audiences, giving them a slice of nostalgia. But watched for the first time now it is the flaws which stick out more including the false nature of all the fight scenes.

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