Fantomas - A l'ombre de la guillotine (1913)

Genres - Crime, Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Master Criminal Films, Police Detective Film  |   Run Time - 54 min.  |   Countries - France   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Hal Erickson

Fantomas was the umbrella title for five different multi-part serials, all produced and directed by the prolific Louis Feuillade. Reversing the usual cliché, the "hero" of these serials was the villain, a slick, deadly master criminal known as "Fantomas" because of his predilection for wearing elaborate disguises. Motivated by a curious code of honor, Fantomas gets just as much pleasure out of baffling the police as he does committing his crimes. Unlike later serials, many of the Fantomas episodes were self-contained stories, some running as much as an hour; one of the episodes briefly eschewed melodrama in favor of light, drawing-room comedy! Released worldwide by Gaumont, the Fantomas series was a huge success, paving the way for such future Louis Feuillade-directed triumphs as Les Vampires and Judex.



criminal, disguise, mastermind, police-inspector, reporter


High Historical Importance