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Les vampires
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Release Date:
13 November 1915 (France) See more »
An intrepid reporter and his loyal friend battle a bizarre secret society of criminals known as The Vampires. | Add synopsis »
1 nomination See more »
(10 articles)
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Fantastical Folly See more (17 total) »


  (in credits order)
Musidora ... Irma Vep
Édouard Mathé ... Philippe Guérande
Marcel Lévesque ... Oscar Mazamette
Jean Aymé ... Le Grand Vampire
Fernand Herrmann ... Juan-José Moréno / Brichonnet
Stacia Napierkowska ... Marfa Koutiloff (episode II)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Renée Carl ... L'Andalouse
Suzanne Delvé ... Fleur-de-Lys
Georgette Faraboni ... Danseuse vampire

Jacques Feyder ... (episode V: L'évasion du mort)
Rita Herlor ... Mrs. Simpson (episode I)
Émile Keppens ... Géo Baldwin
Louise Lagrange ... Jeanne Guérande
Suzanne Le Bret ... Hortense - servante d'Irma
Louis Leubas ... Satanas / Père Silence
Maurice Luguet ... De Villemant
Jeanne Marie-Laurent ... Madame Brémontier
Jean-François Martial
Mademoiselle Maxa ... Laure - servante de Moréno
Gaston Michel ... Benjamin - valet de chambre de Mazamette
Frederik Moriss ... Vénénos
Laurent Morléas ... Officier de la Grande Armée
René Poyen ... Eustache Mazamette
Françoise Rosay ... Une invitée chez Mortesaigues
Germaine Rouer ... Augustine
Florense Simoni ... Mère de Guérande
Thelès ... Juge d'instruction
Miss Édith ... Comtesse de Kerlor

Directed by
Louis Feuillade 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Louis Feuillade 

Original Music by
Robert Israel (2000)
Cinematography by
Music Department
Robert Israel .... orchestra leader

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"The Vampires" - USA (literal English title)
See more »
USA:399 min (DVD)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Including among the '1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die', edited by Steven Jay Schneider.See more »
Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): In episode 8, when it is announced that the champagne is poisoned, Phillipe can be seen drinking the champagne well after the warning.See more »
newspaper article:[newspaper article] We annouce the arrival here of American millionaire George Baldwin. Mr. Baldwin is the protagonist of a recent news incident, and this delightful character who knows no French has nonetheless learned this phrase: "Parisian women are the most charming I've ever seen."See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Celine and Julie Go Boating (1974)See more »


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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful.
Fantastical Folly, 19 November 2009
Author: JoeytheBrit from

I've only seen about two-thirds of this series so far, but seeing as it took Lovefilm more than six months to send me the second disc in the collection after I returned the first I figured I should review it now before the whole thing fades from memory.

The most striking thing about the series is how fantastical the stories are – even though there isn't a real vampire in sight (which is a bit of a let-down really). The world of Les Vampires is one in which gangs of skilled thieves prey on the wealthy; in which every handshake or pat on the back may result in paralysis of the recipient thanks to a tiny poisonous dart strapped to their attacker's hand; in which nefarious villains hypnotise women into believing they are in love with them, and in which police remove floorboards to create a trap for unsuspecting criminals, then truss them in a giant sack and carry them off to jail.

It all sounds like a lot of fun really, doesn't it? Especially the hypnotism bit. Unfortunately, the episodes of this famous silent serial from Louis Feuillade do have a tendency to drag. This is more an indication of how public expectations have changed in the ninety-plus years since this serial was produced than it is of a weakness in the films, I suppose, but to try to appreciate a film from the perspective of the audience for which it was initially intended is damn near impossible.

The story revolves around the efforts of Philippe Guerande and Mazzematte, his ex-undertaker sidekick and (fairly hopeless) comic relief, to bring to justice the members of Les Vampires Crime Enterprise (French Division). This being a serial lasting many hours, their attempts are, more often than not, foiled, although a villain is occasionally nabbed only for a new face to declare that he is the real leader of the gang, and the other bloke was just his lackey. Mazzematte casts supposedly comical glances at the audience and sometimes pulls childlike faces while Guerande is all charm and capability. Prominent amongst the villains is Mlle Musidora as the femme fatale Irma Vep, who is quite fond of sneaking around in a black body stocking that makes her look alarmingly lumpy.

Like the guy who plays Mazzematte, she plays to the camera – although possibly not quite as intentionally – pulling strange faces and striking over-dramatic poses and postures. It's all quite distracting, but offers some amusement when the story starts to drag. Serials would grow more fast-paced and exciting in the 20s, but this was no doubt considered something of a class act in 1915, and is still worth a look today (if you've got about nine hours to spare) even though it's unlikely to make it into anybody's top ten list.

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