Director Charles Vidor came to prominence at the end of the silent film era. Born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1900, he worked in motion pictures most of his life, including at least three decades in Hollywood.
Vidor was regarded as a solid craftsman who made the most of what he had to work with, good or bad. With “Cover Girl” (1944), he let Gene Kelly choreograph his own dances. In the Chopin biopic “A Song to Remember” (1945), he lead Cornel Wilde to an Oscar nomination. He’s perhaps most famous for directing “Gilda” (1946) and is credited with helping to make stars out of Rita Hayworth and Glenn Ford.
Among his other film successes were “The Bridge” (1929), “The Loves of Carmen” (1948), “Love Me or Leave Me” (1955), “The Swan” (1956), “The Joker Is Wild” (1957) and “A Farewell to Arms” (1957). Vidor served as a Cannes Film Festival jurist in 1958.
In 1959, Vidor was in Vienna directing “A Magic Flame,” a film based on the life of Franz Liszt. Late one evening in… read more
Charles J. Brabin (April 17, 1882 in Liverpool, England – November 3, 1957 in Santa Monica, California) was an American film director and screenwriter. He was active during the silent era, then pursued a short-lived career in talkies.
Born in Liverpool, England, he was educated at St. Francis Xavier College. Brabin sailed to New York in the early 1900s and, while holding down odd jobs there, he tried his hand as a stage actor. He joined the Edison Company around 1908, first acting then writing then directing. His last film was A Wicked Woman for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1934.
Brabin wed silent-film “vamp” star Theda Bara in 1921, remaining married to her until her death from abdominal cancer in April 1955 and becoming one of the rare long-lasting Hollywood marriages. —Wikipedia
Great politically incorrect fun. Karloff has a grand old time here, and so will you. I can't imagine anyone not rooting for Karloff's Fu Manchu to wipe out the terribly stuffy white race, especially as embodied by Lewis Stone. There's some great pre-Code beefcake in the person of the hunky Charles Starrett, too. And Myrna Loy -- how can anyone resist?
Blatant racism aside, this classic is easily the best film adaptation of Sax Rohmer's pulp adventure stories. Boris Karloff is perfect (except for one glaring detail) as the fiendish Chinese madman. Maybe a bit stodgy plot-wise, but it makes up for it with a number of lurid, over-the-top set pieces. Worth watching for the Expressionistic lighting and extravagant production design alone.