Based on the phenomenally popular French pulp novellas, Louis Feuillade’s outrageous, ambitious FANTÔMAS series became the gold standard of espionage serials in pre-WWI Europe, and laid the foundation for such immortal works as Feuillade’s own Les Vampires and Fritz Lang’s Dr. Mabuse films.
René Navarre stars as the criminal lord of Paris, the master of disguise, the creeping assassin in black: Fantômas. Over the course of five feature films (which combined to form a 5 1/2-hour epic), Fantômas, along with his accomplices and mistresses, are pursued by the equally resourceful Inspector Juve (Edmund Bréon) and his friend, journalist Jerôme Fandor (Georges Melchior). —Kino
Louis Feuillade was an important and extremely prolific director of early silent films. Born in Lunel, France, Feuillade attended a Catholic seminary as a boy and then served four years in the cavalry before moving to Paris in 1898. By 1902, he had become a writer for the Right Wing royalist press and four years later began working in French film as a screenwriter. A short time after that, he began directing films. In 1907, Feuillade was appointed chief of production in charge of supervising all of Gaumont films, a job he did in addition to directing. During his less-than 20-year career, the hard-working Feuillade directed over 800 films of different lengths and a wide variety of genres; he also wrote at least 100 film scripts for other directors. In 1915, he served in the French army but was seriously wounded and discharged. Feuillade is best remembered for directing the Fantomas and the Vampire series of fantasies and for being the first to utilize the camera techniques that would… read more
"Fantômas." "What did you say?" "I said: Fantômas." "And what does that mean?" "Nothing. . . . Everything!" "But what