Sax Rohmer's  SUMURU
Last revised  28 November 2005

SUMURU -- the Books, the Movies, the Radio Serial

Sumuru was originally created for an eight part radio serial on the B.B.C. Rohmer rewrote the serial as a novel titled The Sins of Sumuru. The American paperback publisher, Fawcett, which was looking for material for first edition paperbacks saw great possibilities for the character and published it as Nude in Mink in May, 1950. It sold so well they had a second printing the same month and they wanted more. Another series was born.

There are nine titles, but only five novels. The Fawcett Gold Medal paperbacks are the true first editions.

The first four books were given different titles for the subsequent British hardcover editions.The British editions also differed slightly in text. Some editing was apparently done in the American Gold Medal editions and the text was restored for the British hardcovers.

The Bookfinger editions are the American hardcover first editions but use the British titles and text -- in fact, they are exact reproductions of the British text and pagination.

Three British publishers offered paperback reprints: Panther issued one in 1960, Four Square another in 1963, and Digit two more in 1964. There is no complete set in British paperback.

Nude in Mink/The Sins of Sumuru

1950 Nude In Mink. New York: Fawcett -
         Gold Medal original .
         First printing, May, 1950, #105.
         Second   printing, May, 1950, #105.
         Third printing, June, 1950, #105.
         Fourth printing, Oct., 1950, #105.
         Fifth printing October, 1951, #105.
         Sixth printing, July, 1953, #321

From the collection of Lawrence Knapp

1950 The Sins of Sumuru. London. Herbert
         (There is also a 1950 second impression.)
         The dustjacket adds a "The"

From the collection of Lawrence Knapp

1964 Sins of Sumuru. London: Digit Books #R835

From the collection of Lawrence Knapp

1977 Sins of Sumuru. New York. Bookfinger.
        (Limited to 1000 copies)

Sumuru/Slaves of Sumuru

1951 Sumuru. New York: Fawcett -
         Gold Medal original.
         First printing, May, 1950, #199.
         Second printing, 1958, #757.

From the collection of Lawrence Knapp
Artist: Not credited

1952 Slaves of Sumuru. London. Herbert Jenkins.
2nd impression 1952

The British and U. S. editions end differently. In the U. S. edition, the hero, Drake Roscoe, succumbs and joins Sumuru; in the British edition he remains steadfast.

1960 The Slaves of Sumuru. London: Panther. (paperback)

From the collection of Lawrence Knapp

1979 Slaves of Sumuru. New York. Bookfinger.
         (Limited to 1000 copies)

The Fire Goddess/Virgin in Flames

1952 The Fire Goddess. New York: Fawcett -
         Gold Medal original #283.

From the collection of Lawrence Knapp

1953 Virgin In Flames. London. Herbert Jenkins.

1953 Second Impression

From the collection of Lawrence Knapp
1978 Virgin In Flames. New York. Bookfinger.
        (Limited to 1000 copies

Return of Sumuru/Sand and Satin

1954 Return of Sumuru. New York: Fawcett -
         Gold Medal original
         First printing, June, 1954, #408.
         Second printing, March, 1959, #868.

         Compare three version of James Meese's cover
         portrait for Return of Sumuru

From the collection of Lawrence Knapp

1955 Sand and Satin. London: Herbert Jenkins.
1957 Sand and Satin. London: Herbert Jenkins.
         "Cheaper Edition"

1964 Sand and Satin. London: Digit #R843.

From the collection of Lawrence Knapp

1978 Sand and Satin. New York: Bookfinger.
         (Limited to 1000 copies)

Sinister Madonna

1956 Sinister Madonna. New York: Fawcett -
         Gold Medal original #555.

From the collection of Lawrence Knapp

1956 Sinister Madonna. London. Herbert
1958 Sinister Madonna.  London. Herbert
         Jenkins.  "Cheaper Edition"

From the collection of Lawrence Knapp

1963 Sinister Madonna. London: Four Square
1964 Sinister Madonna. London: Four Square 
        (paperback) #886

From the collection of Lawrence Knapp

1977 Sinister Madonna. New York. Bookfinger.
         (Limited to 1000 copies)

SUMURU -- the Movies

Director: Shonteff, Londsay






Shirley Eaton bonds with George Nader

Also released as: 

The 1000 Eyes of Su-Muru (1967)
The Slaves of Sumuru (1967)
Sumuru (1967)
die Tochter des Satans (1967) (German title)
Sumuru-Paholaisen Tytar (Finnish Title)

"In this world of international espionage where loving men is against the law, the stunning Su-Muru (Shirley Eaton) is globally known as the most diabolical, bizarre, and sadistic woman who ever lived. Her all-female, man-hating Amazon cult kidnaps a CIA agent (Frankie Avalon) as part of their plot for the destruction of all mankind." -- from the Popcorn site.


"Klaus Kinski steps in with possibly the strangest role of his career, as the creepy homosexual president of Sinonesia who gets turned to stone." -- from the Popcorn site.
"It's a little bit James Bond (lots of buxom blondes and typically stupid dialogue), a little bit Black Lizard (Su-Muru turns all the men into statues), and a little bit bad `60s Kung Fu movie (it was shot in Hong Kong at Shaw Bros. Studios)." -- from the Popcorn site.


Also released as:
Ciudad sin hombres, La (March 20, 1972) (Spanish title)
Future Women (1969) (Television release)
Rio 70 (1970) (US title)
River 70 (1969)
Sieben Männer der Sumuru, Die (March 14, 1969) (German title)
Sumuru (1969)
Runtime: Spain: 79 / Germany: 84 / West Germany: 84

Girl From Rio (2004)
An uncut version released on DVD by Blue Underground. Runtime: 94 minutes.

"Shirley Eaton (Goldfinger) is Su-Maru, a sexy & ruthless dictator of super-women planning to take over the world. Evil crimelord George Sanders (he's funny) is out to destroy her secret female city ("Femina"). In the middle is a (deadpan) special agent called Jeff. Another frantic gem from loopy Spaniard Franco (Kiss Me Monster), subverting the traditional Fu-Manchu formula with loud clothes, S/F motifs, nudity (removed from alternative prints) and silly violence. The laconic dubbing is a joy. Producer Harry AllanTowers was busted for hiring high-class call girls." -- from Video Voltage

"Returning to the suspiciously popular theme of lethal ladies, consider THE MILLION EYES OF SU-MURU (1967) and RIO 70/DIE SIBEN MANNER DER SU-MARU (1970). In THE MILLION EYES, Shirley Eaton -- GOLDFINGER's gilded corpse -- plays Oriental villainess Su-Muru, a distaff Fu Manchu (also created by novelist Sax Rohmer) who plans to enslave the world with her army of women. Secret agents Frankie Avalon and George Nader have to stop her. In the German-made sequel, directed by Spanish exploitation legend Jess (Jesus) Franco, Eaton returns as Su-Maru and tries again, while Avalon and Nader are nowhere to be found. Like the DR. GOLDFOOT movies, the SU-MURU (or MARU) films are informed by a profound anxiety about what women get up to when there are no men around to keep them in their place." -- from the Pop Bondage site

2003: Sumuru


Also released as:
Sax Rohmer's Sumuru (South Africa)


Authors:  Peter Jobin & Torsten Dewi
Director: Darrell James Roodt


Sumuru: Alexandra Kemp
Adam Wade: Michael Shanks
Jake Carpenter: Terence Bridgett
Dove: CaseyB
Taxan: Simone Levin

Warrier Captain: Nadia Kretschmer
Will: David Lazarus


 Harry Alan Towers and Tandem Communications

The only thing that is Sax Rohmer's is the name.



SUMURU -- the Radio Serial

The following is an excerpt from "Musette, Max and Sumuru" by R. E. Briney and W. O. G. Lofts in The Rohmer Review No. 15.

In the months immediately following the end of World War II, there was little or no market for magazine fiction in Britain, and Rohmer turned once again to the BBC. Although the character of Fu Manchu was too controversial---the BBC having no desire to offend Britain's Chinese allies---the standard Fu Manchu plot was still serviceable. Rohmer replaced the Devil Doctor with a female mastermind of indeterminate nationality, and produced Shadow of Sumuru, a serial consisting of eight half-hour episodes. These were broadcast weekly on the BBC Light Programme on Sunday evenings at 9:30, starting on December 30, 1945. The serial was produced by Noel Iliff, and the cast was listed in Radio Times, 11 January 1946) was as follows:

Sumuru.......................Anna Burden
Mark Donovan...........Robert Beatty
Dr. Maitland...............Ralph Truman
Inspector Ives.............Arthur Bush
Philo...........................George Merritt

As usual, the episodes bore individual titles:

Episode 1: The Green Sapphire 30 December 1945
2: Tears of a Lady 6 January       1946
3: The Dumb Man 13 January
4: The Sleep Walker 20 January
5: A Statue of Hamlet 27 January
6: Serpent Woman 3 February
7: The Tapping Stick 10 February
8: The Shadow Passes 17 February

It was this serial which, having been converted into a novel, became the Gold Medal paperback Nude in Mink, published in England as The Sins of Sumuru. (The original diacritical marks, a flat line over the first and last u, vanished along the way -- much like the hyphen in "Fu-Manchu.") Although Sax Rohmer had no very high opinion of this first Sumuru story, it was so successful that he needed no urging to extend the series. Four further novels are now among the scarcest of Rohmer's books.

A detailed analysis of the Sumuru character by Richard Calder:

Go to The Page of Fu Manchu

Copyright © 1998-2004 Lawrence Knapp. All rights reserved.

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