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Plot & Details

Peter Sellers gets to play both hero and bad guy at the same time in this comedy variation on Sax Rohmer's infamous stories of Asian super-villian Fu Manchu. The 168-year-old Fu Manchu (Sellers) is starting to run out of the youth-preserving formula that has kept him alive and kicking for the past eight or so decades, and he decides it's high time he made up some more. However, the list of ingredients includes a few items you can't usually get at your corner drug store, and Fu and his minions become a crime wave of their own as they attempt to steal an ancient Egyptian mummy and the Crown Jewels of England. (In the meantime, Fu keeps his heart beating by administering himself the occasional electric shock.) When word gets out that the evil Fu Manchu is back, his long-time nemesis, Scotland Yard's Nayland Smith (also played by Sellers), is put on the case, but like Fu, Smith isn't quite the man he used to be after all these years. Peter Sellers also contributed to the screenplay of The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu without credit, and is said to have briefly taken over as director, though the results lack the snap of his best work; sadly, it would prove to be the great comic's last film. Sid Caesar, Hellen Mirren, and David Tomlinson also appear in the supporting cast.

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