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Robert Harris

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If I was releasing these film, I'd probably have completed the trilogy of Oland Fu Manchu films, as they end with Daughter of the Dragon (1931), with Mr. Oland receiving third billing - so I can also understand why one may go with the first two.

What's interesting here, and what goes against everything currently being pushed in our society, is the fact that Fu Manchu, and later Mr. Chan, were played by Mr. Oland, who was Swedish but with possibly a bit of Mongolian blood in his background. The character was later played by Boris Karloff and a host of others, including Christopher Lee in a five-film Fu Manchu series 1965-69.

What's even more interesting is after Mr. Oland's death, the Chan character was played by Sidney Toler (basically Scottish) and Roland Winters (also non-Oriental).

I'm not certain what perpetuated the studio mentality to avoid actors of proper genetic origin, except that Richard Barthelmess was unavailable.

The two Fu Manchu examples offered herein are early Paramount films via Universal to Kino, and date from 1929 and 1930 - the early sound on film era, with a proper aspect ratio of 1.20:1, and except for a bit of wear they look fine - actually better than might be expected.

All's well here.

Image – 3.75

Audio – 4

Pass / Fail – Pass

Upgrade from DVD - Yes

Works up-rezzed to 4k - Okay

Recommended

RAH
 

Capt D McMars

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Glad to see these getting released, BUT it seemed funny in a way that in the film industry, it was pretty much Angol-centric. They had created a skisum between racial markets. There was a "Black" market, the Mexican/Latin market (mainly out of Mexico), even a Japanese/Chinese market growing in those countries, exponentiallty and exported to those markets here in the states.

I think the main motivation for the sudios was and always has been...STARPOWER, name reccogition!!
Not wantng to run the risk of an unknown actor or actress coming on and bombing the film.

The only time you saw non-white actors was either as background actors or sometimes in secondary roles with limited lines. Of course there are exceptions, Key Luke for example. But still, you have to watch these with understanding of where and when these were made, and not by todays standards. Even as recent as 70s series like Kung Fu, it was David Carradine that got the lead role.
 

Peter Apruzzese

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If I was releasing these film, I'd probably have completed the trilogy of Oland Fu Manchu films, as they end with Daughter of the Dragon (1931), with Mr. Oland receiving third billing - so I can also understand why one may go with the first two.

What's interesting here, and what goes against everything currently being pushed in our society, is the fact that Fu Manchu, and later Mr. Chan, were played by Mr. Oland, who was Swedish but with possibly a bit of Mongolian blood in his background. The character was later played by Boris Karloff and a host of others, including Christopher Lee in a five-film Fu Manchu series 1965-69.

What's even more interesting is after Mr. Oland's death, the Chan character was played by Sidney Toler (basically Scottish) and Roland Winters (also non-Oriental).

Kino mentioned (I think on Facebook) that Daughter of the Dragon has legal issues.
 

Garysb

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Youtube has posted "Daughter of the Dragon" to complete the trilogy. Available on youtube only. Can't link here.
 

RobertMG

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Glad to see these getting released, BUT it seemed funny in a way that in the film industry, it was pretty much Angol-centric. They had created a skisum between racial markets. There was a "Black" market, the Mexican/Latin market (mainly out of Mexico), even a Japanese/Chinese market growing in those countries, exponentiallty and exported to those markets here in the states.

I think the main motivation for the sudios was and always has been...STARPOWER, name reccogition!!
Not wantng to run the risk of an unknown actor or actress coming on and bombing the film.

The only time you saw non-white actors was either as background actors or sometimes in secondary roles with limited lines. Of course there are exceptions, Key Luke for example. But still, you have to watch these with understanding of where and when these were made, and not by todays standards. Even as recent as 70s series like Kung Fu, it was David Carradine that got the lead role.
Yet most of the Chans had the great character actors play Chans kids so the films did employ the right ethnic actors - so there Mr Sulu aka George Takei!
 
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Capt D McMars

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Yet most of the Chans had the great character actors play Chans kids so the films did employ the right ethnic actors - so there Mr Sulu aka George Takei!
I think the main motivation for the studios was and always has been...STAR POWER, name reccogition!!
Not wantng to run the risk of an unknown actor or actress coming on and bombing the film.

The only time you saw non-white actors was either as background actors or sometimes in secondary roles with limited lines. Of course there are exceptions, Key Luke for example. But still, you have to watch these with understanding of where and when these were made, and not by todays standards. Even as recent as 70s series like Kung Fu, it was David Carradine that got the lead role.
 

Will Krupp

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Yet most of the Chans had the great character actors play Chans kids so the films did employ the right ethnic actors - so there Mr Sulu aka George Takei!

I'm not sure what your ojection is to George Takei, Robert, he's hardly in the "cancel Chan" camp. What he said about the Chan fillms when asked in a 2019 interview was:

Well, I did enjoy the Charlie Chan movies, but I must say I wondered why real Asians couldn't play Charlie Chan, because the older Chinese men that I know did not talk like him, act like him and his vocabulary wasn't like Chan's.

IMO, that's a valid (and somewhat mild) opinion that's hardly worth a "take down."

He's also participated in at least one panel at Brooklyn CUNY to put a Chan film (in this case, a screening of Charlie Chan in Honolulu, admittedly one of the weakest) into context and he's a huge fan of Keye Luke (they've worked together) and a staunch supporter of his work as Lee Chan.
 
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RobertMG

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I think the main motivation for the studios was and always has been...STAR POWER, name reccogition!!
Not wantng to run the risk of an unknown actor or actress coming on and bombing the film.

The only time you saw non-white actors was either as background actors or sometimes in secondary roles with limited lines. Of course there are exceptions, Key Luke for example. But still, you have to watch these with understanding of where and when these were made, and not by todays standards. Even as recent as 70s series like Kung Fu, it was David Carradine that got the lead role. https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/charlie-chan-ban-lifted-fox-movie-channel

I'm not sure what your ojection is to George Takei, Robert, he's hardly in the "cancel Chan" camp. What he said about the Chan fillms when asked in a 2019 interview was:



IMO, that's a valid (and somewhat mild) opinion that's hardly worth a "take down."

He's also participated in at least one panel at Brooklyn CUNY to put a Chan film (in this case, a screening of Charlie Chan in Honolulu, admittedly one of the weakest) into context and he's a huge fan of Keye Luke (they've worked together) and a staunch supporter of his work as Lee Chan.
I like him as an actor but as an activist nah --- he made the HUGE stink when Fox started putting out the Chan's so much that Fox then had a roundtable with him and others to talk about the films -- most of us here are adults and realize the films were from a time and we need to view them as such they were made well top talent top studios and they entertained the world - but he made a huge stink and Fox did what they needed to do now with Disney owning them we will never see them released again -- kind of sad. Thanks for posting that comment from him maybe he came around to realize no malice was intended by studios thats the way of the times they were made.


Fox to air Chan films with discussion​

Tuesday, September 2, 2003 Posted: 11:49 AM EDT (1549 GMT)


Story Tools

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) -- A Charlie Chan film festival that was canceled this summer by Fox Movie Channel after complaints from Asian-American groups will return to the cabler this month with wraparound segments featuring panel discussions on racial insensitivity.

The four restored films -- "Murder Over New York," "Charlie Chan at the Opera," "Castle in the Desert" and "Charlie Chan in Honolulu" -- will begin airing September 13.

Fox decided in June to discontinue its planned 23-film Chan festival after civil rights organizations decried the movies -- released by 20th Century Fox in the 1930s -- for perpetuating stereotypes and casting Caucasian actors in roles intended for Asian-Americans.

But with Fox's license agreement to air the films set to expire at month's end, the network decided to bring back four titles, along with discussions featuring experts including actor Harry Shen and Peter Feng, professor of Asian-American studies and film at the University of Delaware. "Star Trek" actor George Takei will moderate the panel.

"We believe that the introductory piece and follow-up discussion will help promote understanding of the issues many Asian-Americans have with these films," said Karen Narasaki, president and executive director of the National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium.
 
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Will Krupp

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I know he was asked to moderate the panel, but you're saying HE made a "huge stink?" Please feel free to link to the "huge stink" George Takei made.

Even if he DID make a "huge stink," it's his right as an American. I'm not Asian or of Asian heritage, I didn't spend my childhood in a Japanese American internment camp, and have never lived the Asian experience in America. I have no right to tell him or anyone else what they're allowed to find offensive. It has nothing whatsoever to do with whether or not they're adults.

Fox released the entire series on DVD after the controversy (all of which are still readily available) so what's the issue, anyway? Are you really blaming HIM for the fact that Disney bought Fox?
 
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RobertMG

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I know he was asked to moderate the panel, but you're saying HE made a "huge stink?" Please feel free to link to the "huge stink" George Takei made.

Even if he DID make a "huge stink," it's his right as an American. I'm not Asian or of Asian heritage, I didn't spend my childhood in a Japanese American internment camp, and have never lived the Asian experience in America. I have no right to tell him or anyone else what they're allowed to find offensive. It has nothing whatsoever to do with whether or not they're adults.

Fox released the entire series on DVD after the controversy so what's the issue, anyway? Are you really blaming HIM for the fact that Disney bought Fox?
Will the piece was from 2003 Fox then banned the films for 5 years finally lifting the ban 2008 did not say he had no right but again a heck of a lot more wanted to see the films and buy the films then objected - I interviewed dozens of people for my second book about Macy's including one of the Straus family who owned Macy's he served in WWII and told stories of white only water fountains etc and how much he hated seeing that injustice but he did not blame FDR who could have changed that in a heartbeat. Same with locking up Japanese Americans BUT sadly it was the times - and the shot at Diseny was say goodbye to the films thankfully they were released on dvd and thanks to Warners and MGM too for issuing them too. To ban films is a sin because they can be a teaching tool he is a great example of places censoring things I was given this clip by University of South Carolina actor Monty Woolley playing Santa at Macys xmas 1942 they first time I got the clip I posted it -- a year later I got it again and he said this is unedited version ---- watch it u will see a kid ask for a machine gun - Santa says what for sonny and he says to shoot some japs ----- so the first time I got the clip the school edited that bit out the second time they gave it to me and told me - NOW that is a horrible remark by today but it was one year after Pearl Harbor and we were losing our heroic young men - again product of its time but it needs to be seen not locked away --- sadly human beings are not really that far removed from being like animals still (wars etc)
 
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RobertMG

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Another major factor as to why those films weren’t shown at that time was due to Murdoch’s marriage at that time. His wife, Wendi Deng was offended by those movies.
Did not know that - Sorry to Will if he miss understood my reasoning ---- to ban film is very dangerous history should never be denied locked up - my apologies! That basically changes history sometimes for the worst. Again my apologies I was not to clear on what I was saying
 

Josh Steinberg

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Fox released the entire series on DVD after the controversy so what's the issue, anyway? Are you really blaming HIM for the fact that Disney bought Fox?

Disney has unfortunately become a convenient scapegoat for whenever a film someone wants isn’t available in the format they prefer it in. There was another thread where Disney was bashed repeatedly for not putting the Chan films on Blu-ray. Nevermind that Blu-ray came into existence in 2006, and Disney didn’t own Fox until 2019, it’s as if Fox bears no responsibility for declining to release them in just format in the 13 years they could have. And then, of course, no one wants to take a moment to ask why Fox didn’t. The answer to that is simple: Fox spent a small fortunate putting their Chan films on disc with newly created masters and bonus features, and those releases failed to turn a profit, as did many catalog titles that were brought to DVD by many different studios. That is the number one reason to the question “Why is X title only on DVD?” I often wish that many titles I like would be profitable on newer formats, but unfortunately they’re not. At this point in my collecting years, I’m trying not to dwell on what we haven’t gotten and instead try to appreciate what we did.
 

Will Krupp

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To ban films is a sin

It's a good thing they were never banned, then. The first set of DVDs was released in June of 2006, less than three years after the controversy (hell, Disney "bans" their own films for longer between releases) and are STILL readily available in 2022. It's a tempest in a teapot but have at it. I'm bowing out now.
 

RobertMG

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Disney has unfortunately become a convenient scapegoat for whenever a film someone wants isn’t available in the format they prefer it in. There was another thread where Disney was bashed repeatedly for not putting the Chan films on Blu-ray. Nevermind that Blu-ray came into existence in 2006, and Disney didn’t own Fox until 2019, it’s as if Fox bears no responsibility for declining to release them in just format in the 13 years they could have. And then, of course, no one wants to take a moment to ask why Fox didn’t. The answer to that is simple: Fox spent a small fortunate putting their Chan films on disc with newly created masters and bonus features, and those releases failed to turn a profit, as did many catalog titles that were brought to DVD by many different studios. That is the number one reason to the question “Why is X title only on DVD?” I often wish that many titles I like would be profitable on newer formats, but unfortunately they’re not. At this point in my collecting years, I’m trying not to dwell on what we haven’t gotten and instead try to appreciate what we did.
Thankfully Fox did release them and they are still availalbe to buy them MGM was very successful with their first to the market I think box.
 

Robert Crawford

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Disney has unfortunately become a convenient scapegoat for whenever a film someone wants isn’t available in the format they prefer it in. There was another thread where Disney was bashed repeatedly for not putting the Chan films on Blu-ray. Nevermind that Blu-ray came into existence in 2006, and Disney didn’t own Fox until 2019, it’s as if Fox bears no responsibility for declining to release them in just format in the 13 years they could have. And then, of course, no one wants to take a moment to ask why Fox didn’t. The answer to that is simple: Fox spent a small fortunate putting their Chan films on disc with newly created masters and bonus features, and those releases failed to turn a profit, as did many catalog titles that were brought to DVD by many different studios. That is the number one reason to the question “Why is X title only on DVD?” I often wish that many titles I like would be profitable on newer formats, but unfortunately they’re not. At this point in my collecting years, I’m trying not to dwell on what we haven’t gotten and instead try to appreciate what we did.
Yup!
 

RobertMG

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It's a good thing they were never banned, then. The first set of DVDs was released in June of 2006, less than three years after the controversy (hell, Disney "bans" their own films for longer between releases) and are STILL readily available in 2022. It's a tempest in a teapot but have at it. I'm bowing out now.
As I said I apologize if I was not very smart in the expression of thoughts my mind still wanders due to my health and I do have problems with what I try to relay. Thanks for your patience Will
 

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