Synopsis by Mark Deming
Louis Feuillade's pioneering silent serial -- whose ten episodes weigh in at nearly eight hours -- concerns Guèrande (Edouard Mathé), a journalist who is trying to uncover the truth about a mysterious society of anarchist gangsters who call themselves Les Vampires. While they don't drink the blood of the living, Les Vampires are the uncrowned monarchs of the criminal underworld, and as Guèrande struggles to learn the full extent of their lawless activities and the true identity of leaders the Grand Vampire (Jean Aymé) and Irma Vep (Juliet Musidora), he learns a tremendous amount about their intelligence, their cunning, and their treachery. A runaway hit in its initial release, which proved to be a major influence on the work of Fritz Lang and Alfred Hitchcock, Les Vampires also inspired Olivier Assayas' revisionist look at the film's leading lady, Irma Vep.
criminal, reporter, bourgeois, jewel-robbery
High Historical Importance