Adventures of Fu Manchu
Movie Lover: Richard Smith
PLANO, TX US
-- May, 15, 2012
In each episode of this ’50s made-for-syndication television series, diabolic Dr. Fu Manchu seeks wealth and/or power. Assisting him are Karamanch, his luscious and obedient slave (and male fantasy!); his midget henchman Kolb; and such evildoers as the Chinese Communists (before they started buying Buicks and American T-bonds); and Adolf Hitler who swears that this time he will strike from the Pacific. Opposing Fu Manchu is his nemeses Sir Dennis Nayland Smith, “late of Scotland Yard but now concerned with security,” who is ably assisted by American physician Dr. John Petrie and Petrie’s pretty nurse Betty Leonard.
Okay, Adventures is not very sophisticated; however, the stories are imaginative and fun. The metaphorical game-of-chess sequence between Fu and Smith that begins and ends each episode is inspired.
According to Internet sources, only 13 episodes were made. Apparently, the program resulted in extended litigation between Republic Studios and Fu Manchu creator Sax Rohmer.