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The Return of Chandu
The Return of Chandu
Actors: Bela Lugosi, Maria Alba, Clara Kimball Young, Lucien Prival, Dean Benton
Director: Ray Taylor
Genres: Action & Adventure, Classics, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
NR     2004     3hr 28min

This classic cliffhanger, in 12 mesmerizing chapters, stars Bela Lugosi in a rare turn as the hero. He plays Chandu, a mystic magician with supernatural powers, who battles the black magic Cult of Ubasto on the magic is...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Actors: Bela Lugosi, Maria Alba, Clara Kimball Young, Lucien Prival, Dean Benton
Director: Ray Taylor
Creators: John Hickson, Carl Himm, Sol Lesser, Barry Barringer, Harry A. Earnshaw, R.R. Morgan, Vera M. Oldham
Genres: Action & Adventure, Classics, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Silent Films, Drama, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Vci Video
Format: DVD - Black and White,Full Screen
DVD Release Date: 06/29/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 3hr 28min
Screens: Black and White,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 4
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
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Movie Reviews

This same serial also available on two separate DVDs -- Grea
Patrick W. Crabtree | Lucasville, OH USA | 07/27/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I own this same 1934 serial which was first available by purchasing these two SEPARATELY-PACKAGED DVDs from ALPHA VIDEO:

The Return of Chandu the Magician, Vol. 1
(Volume One, Chapters 1-6)

The Return of Chandu the Magician, Vol. 2
(Volume Two, Chapters 7-12)

By buying EITHER the newer singly-packaged version by VCI, OR, the separately-packaged version (by ALPHA VIDEO, as I have listed above), you will get the COMPLETE 1934 SERIAL, shown in its entirety, in 12 chapters. Now, there has been some discussion on reviews here that the VCI print is better than the ALPHA VIDEO print -- that's probably true but I have to say that I'm very pleased with the picture and sound quality of the latter. Thus, if budget is your priority, I think that you'll be plenty happy with ALPHA VIDEO's 2-volume version. If you're a stickler for quality, then you'll of course want the single-package VCI version.

I compared the total times and, whichever way you buy it, the VCI and ALPHA VIDEO versions are within four minutes of one another, based upon what the packaging descriptions state (the single VCI DVD totals 208 minutes and the two ALPHA VIDEO DVDs total 212 minutes), so I'm sure that they're very close in terms of scenes. I just wanted to let potential buyers know all this information in case they preferred to go with the two separate DVD option.


Also, this terrific Lugosi serial was later edited (cut) into the following 1935 film:

Chandu on the Magic Island:Feature

If you want this cut-down "Movie Feature Version" of the original serial, go with the above packaging and NOT this one:

AMC Monsterfest: Chandu on the Magic Island/ Ghosts of Hanley House

"Ghosts of Hanley House" (which I own on a separate DVD of its own) is a really, cheesey, poorly made movie of a completely different genre so you're not getting a bargain by acquiring the two films on a single DVD!


"The Return of Chandu the Magician" (serial) is just superb with Lugosi playing Frank Chandler, aka Chandu the Magician, as he battles on with the evil High Priest Vindhyan on the South Seas Island of Lemuria.

It is on this island where Chandu's fiancée, the Egyptian Princess Nadji (played by the lovely Maria Alba) is being held captive until Chandu can rescue her. You'll love seeing the special effects as Chandu "vanishes" into thin air -- it really freaks out his adversaries too!

This serial entry is, of course, shot in black-and-white and the aspect is full-screen. As I previously mentioned, the total running time for the two-DVD option DVDs is 3 hours and 32 minutes . (The running time for the 1935 feature film, Chandu on the Magic Island:Feature is only 65 minutes!)

For a full Saturday afternoon of old theater serial nostalgia, grab this one ASAP! Tons of fun -- my highest recommendation!"
"supernatural & mystic thrills of magician Chandu ~ VCI Ent
J. Lovins | Missouri-USA | 10/01/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"VCI Entertainment and Principle Pictures present the mystic magician adapted from a radio drama in "The Return of Chandu " (1934) (Dolby digitally remastered), 12 Chapters of vintage serial loaded with suspenseful and mysterious sequences...story line has Chandu the mystic locking horns with the Black Magic Cult of Ubasti...is there a sacrifice in the works of the last Egyptian Princess alive...will Chandu with all the powers at his hand be able to thwart these evildoers of this 12 Chapter serial...does Bela Lugosi as Chandu get the girl at the end of the serial...director Ray Taylor at the helm does an excellent job of bringing the best out of each actor for the characters involved....also take note of the musical score by these composers Rudolf Friml, Charles Dunworth, Francis Gromon, Nem Herkin and Josiah Zuro, each cue is completely mesmerizing...keep that thought as each chapter is more exciting than the previous one...stayed tuned and don't miss any of the mysterious episodes.

Under director Ray Taylor, producer Sol Lesser with screenplay by Barry Barringer, Harry A. Earnshaw, R.R. Morgan, Vera M. Oldman...the cast Bela Lugosi ( Frank Chandler, aka Chandu the Magician), Maria Alba (Princess Nadji), Clara Kimball Young (Dorothy Regent), Dean Benton (Bob Regent), Phyliss Ludwig ( Betty Regent), Murdock MacQuarrie (The "Voice" of Ubasti), Iron Eyes Cody (Cat Man), Jack Clark (Vitras, High Priest of Ubasti), Josef Swickard (Tyba, the White Magician), Wilfred Lucas (Capt. Wilson), Lucien Prival (Vindhyan)...danger everywhere for Princess Nadji is what Chandu visions in his crystal ball...black magic will be held for a sacrifice of the cult Ubasti...must they visit the island of Lemuria and the result is being held in captivity...will Chandu be plunged into an endless maze of caverns beneath the evil Temple of Ubasti...can his own powers be made helpless by the full forces of Black Magic...this is the kind of stuff we went to the local theater to see every week and couldn't wait for the next time...relive those wonderful memories of the serials from yesteryear thanks to VCI Entertainment and their gang of dedicated people.

CHAPTER TITLES:
1. The Chosen Victim
2. The House in the Hills
3. On the High Seas
4. The Evil Eye
5. The Invisible Circle
6. Chandu's False Step
7. Mysterious Magic
8. The Edge of the Pit
9. The Terror Invisible
10.The Crushing Rock
11.The Uplifted Knife
12.The Knife Descends

SPECIAL FEATURES:
BIOS:
1. Bela Lugosi
Birth Date: 10/20/1882 - Austria-Hungary
Death Date: 8/16/1956 - Los Angeles, CA
2. Maria Alba - (1905-1999)
3. Ray Taylor
Birth Date: 12/01/1880 - Perham, Minnesota
Death Date: 2/15/1952 - Hollywood, CA

VCI CLIFFHANGER TRAILERS:
1. Adventures of Red Ryder (Don "Red" Barry)
2. Zorro Cliffhanger Collection (Reed Hadley, John Carroll, Linda Stirling)
3. Dick Tracy's G-Men (Ralph Byrd)
4. Adventures of the Flying Cadets (Bobby Jordan)
5. Buck Rogers (Buster Crabbe)
6. Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (Buster Crabbe )
7. Jungle Girl (Frances Gifford),
8. Jungle Jim (Grant Withers & Raymond Hatton)
9. Mandrake the Magician (Warren Hull)
10.Zane Grey's "King of the Royal Mounted" (Allan "Rocky" Lane)
11.Miracle Rider (Tom Mix & Tony Jr)
12.Secret Agent X-9 (1937) (Scott Kolk, Henry Brandon & Monte Blue)
13.The Phantom (Tom Tyler)
14.Secret Agent X-9 (1945) (Lloyd Bridges & Key Luke)
15.Zorro's Cliffhanger Collection (Reed Hadley, John Carroll & Linda Stirling)

TRAILERS::
Undersea Kingdom (Ray "Crash" Corrigan)
Tex Granger (Robert Kellard, Peggy Stewart, Smith Ballew, Jack Ingram)
Congo Bill (Don McGuire)

If you crave action, drama and plenty of adventure then this is the place for all of the above...if you enjoyed this serial check out another release from VCI Entertainment and Columbia Pictures present "Captain Video: Master of the Stratosphere" (1951) (digitally remastered), 15 Chapters.finally for the first time on video the really great Columbia Serial that broke the mold...we have everything a serial fan would want...the tinted sequences by Cinecolor and unique inventions that were unlike any other serial out there in the '50s...get out there as they're going fast, this is the one you've been waiting for.

Great job by VCI Entertainment for releasing the digital transfere with a clean, clear and crisp print...looking forward to more of the same from the '30s vintage serial era...order your copy now from Amazon or VCI Entertainment ("King of the Serials"), stay tuned once again with a top notch serial from VCI...just the way we like 'em!

Total Time: 208 mins on DVD ~ VCI Entertainment 8386~ (6/29/2004)"
Much footage sewn onto fantasy serial.
rsoonsa | Lake Isabella, California | 08/27/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)

"Bela Lugosi is not typecast in this fantastic twelve-part adventure serial, playing the lead as Frank Chandler/Chandu the Magician, enjoying his role as a representative of the forces of White Magic pushed against those of Black, while displaying vigourous fighting skill, successfully wooing a young Egyptian princess, and cutting a lean and dashing figure in yachting gear, complete with nautical cap. The somewhat lumpy plot engages Chandler/Chandu in an ongoing series of escapades pointed at achieving the rescue of his fiancee, Princess Nadji(Maria Alba) and others from the clutches of the idol-worshipping sect of Ubasti, which covets Nadji's blood in order to revivify an ancient mummified princess entombed upon the mysterious island of Lemuria. Director Ray Taylor, an old hand at such entertainments keeps events moving briskly, but repeated scenes and footage, a good deal of which is to be found in the previous year's Skull Island setting from KING KONG, and the port locale from SON OF KONG, reduces original action to less than 60 minutes from the serial's running length of over two and one-half hours and, if viewed at one sitting, becomes lacking in effect to most viewers, unless insomniac.

"