This film is part of Free

The West Case

Plotting world domination, Devil Doctor Fu-Manchu steals plans for a new aero-torpedo in this earliest surviving thrill-a-minute serial instalment.

Action and Adventure 1923 28 mins Silent


A fiendishly complicated scheme involving dancing girls, hashish, a fishing line, and a trained marmoset results in mysterious master criminal Fu-Manchu snatching the plans for the West Aero-Torpedo. Stern Denis Nayland Smith and staunch Dr Petrie battle to get them back in this earliest surviving instalment of the thrill-a-minute serial The Mystery of Dr. Fu-Manchu.

The first part of this lavishly-budgeted 15-part Stoll serial is lost in the mists of time, so we join the action with the second thrilling instalment. The drama is based closely on an incident in the first of Sax Rohmer’s bestselling Fu-Manchu novels, The Mystery of Dr. Fu-Manchu (1913), but the hiding place of the stolen plans – bafflingly overlooked by Nayland Smith in his search – was the invention of the filmmakers.