Chandu the Magician (film)
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|Chandu The Magician|
|Directed by||William Cameron Menzies, Marcel Varnel|
|Written by||Barry Conners, Philip Klein|
|Cinematography||James Wong Howe|
|Edited by||Harold D. Schuster|
|Distributed by||Fox Film Corporation|
Chandu the Magician is a 1932 American Pre-Code mystery-fantasy film starring Edmund Lowe as Frank Chandler and Bela Lugosi as the villain Roxor that he must stop. Based on the radio play of the same name, written by Harry A. Earnshaw, Vera M. Oldham and R.R. Morgan. The radio series ran from 1932 to 1933 and Fox obtained the rights hoping the film would appeal to a ready-made audience. In 1934 Chandu returned in a twelve part serial, The Return of Chandu, with Bela Lugosi ironically playing the title role.
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For three years, Frank Chandler has studied eastern magic with the Yogis in India and is now known by his new identity, Chandu. He now has the power to teleport, astral project, mesmerize, as well as project illusions. With these supernatural abilities he has been entrusted by his teacher to "go forth with his youth and strength to conquer the evil that threatens mankind." Chandu is sent to Egypt to deal with an Egyptian megalomaniac known as Roxor, played by Bela Lugosi. Roxor kidnaps Chandu's brother-in-law, Robert Regent, an inventor who has developed a death ray whose beams reach half way round the world. The evil Roxor plots to use the ray to aid his plans for world domination. Chandu must utilise all his psychic abilities to rescue his brother-in-law, and also his sister and their children, whom Roxor has kidnapped in a plot to force Regent into revealing the secrets of his death ray. Chandu's sweetheart Egyptian Princess Nadji is also kidnapped, leaving Chandu with the quandary whom to rescue first. Using his Yogi abilities, Chandu makes daring escapes, including one from a submerged sarcophagus. Eventually he succeeds in rescuing everyone and mesmerizing Roxor long enough to destroy both the death ray and the villain's entire lair.
William Cameron Menzies who worked as the art director on The Thief of Bagdad (1924), employs every special effect trick of the trade, many miniatures, optical effects, dry for wet to create a visually exciting film.
Cast (in credits order)
- Edmund Lowe as Chandu/Frank Chandler
- Bela Lugosi as Roxor
- Irene Ware as Princess Nadji
- Herbert Mundin as Albert Miggles
- Henry B. Walthall as Robert Regent
- Weldon Heyburn as Abdulah
- June Lang as Betty Lou Regent
- Michael Stuart as Bobby Regent
- Virginia Hammond as Dorothy Regent
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