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Fantômas (1932)

The Marquise de Langrune invites her friends at her castle in Beaulieu. Among them is Lord Beltham who also came to bring her a significant sum of money. The mysterious Fantômas kills the ... See full summary »

Director:

(as Paul Fejos)

Writers:

(novel), (as Paul Fejos) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Thomy Bourdelle ...
Tania Fédor ...
Jean Worms ...
Lord Beltham - le mari de Lady Beltham
...
Anielka Elter ...
...
Le président Jean-Marie Bonnet - un magistrat
...
...
Firmin - le valet de la marquise
Marie-Laure ...
...
Fantômas le prince du mal / Görn / Etienne Rambert
Philippe Richard ...
Michel - un policier, l'adjoint de Juve
Georges Mauloy ...
Le professeur Gabriel - un scientifique qui travaille dans les laboratoires de la police
Paul Azaïs ...
Giroud, le mécanicien de Lord Beltham (as Azais)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Pierre Hot
Fred Pasquali

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Storyline

The Marquise de Langrune invites her friends at her castle in Beaulieu. Among them is Lord Beltham who also came to bring her a significant sum of money. The mysterious Fantômas kills the Marquise during the night. Inspector Juve is sent on his trail. Written by Greg Philip {greg_philip@hotmail.com}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

sequel | based on novel | See All (2) »

Genres:

Crime | Thriller

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 May 1932 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Fantomas  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (theatrical) | (video)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

Version of Fantomas See more »

Soundtracks

Ride of the Valkyries
(uncredited)
from "Walküre"
Music by Richard Wagner
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User Reviews

 
FANTOMAS (Paul Fejos, 1932) ***
2 December 2006 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

I learned of this film's existence while browsing the Internet after watching Louis Feuillade's Silent serial of 1913-14 and coming upon a website dedicated to this arch criminal! Given director Fejos' involvement, I was obviously intrigued by this version; unfortunately, it turned up on Italian TV while I was in Hollywood late last year - but, thankfully, it didn't take me long to catch up with it after that (hopefully, two other very interesting films I missed out on during that period - Abel Gance's THE END OF THE WORLD [1930] and G. W. Pabst's DON QUIXOTE [1933] - will likewise be re-run shortly)!

Anyway, while essentially dated, the film is great fun throughout. Still, even if the 'old dark house'-style first half is said to be quite faithtful to Marcel Allain and Pierre Souvestre's very first "Fantomas" novel, the film is not really typical of the criminal mastermind's exploits - especially since he only appears on a couple of occasions in his trademark skin-tight black outfit, and we're left guessing as to his true identity until practically the very end! That first part (with a thunderstorm for backdrop, secret passageways galore and even a robbery/strangling) is nicely shot, however, and plays like a French variant on THE BAT WHISPERS (1930); the remainder involves an automobile race, a murder in an operating theater, a particularly animated fistfight (with the opponents using all the ultra-volatile props and furniture they can get their hands on!) and is capped by a car explosion which allows the titular character to escape (apparently, this was intended as a continuing series but, alas, it never materialized - perhaps it was Marcel Allain's disapproval of the film which put paid to the idea!).

Unfortunately, Jean Galland is nothing like the Fantomas of the Feuillade serial (hiding under multiple disguises throughout) or Andre' Hunebelle's 1960s triptych, featuring Jean Marais sporting a silver mask: his dapper true identity is a disappointment and, even though his regular nemesis Inspector Juve is on hand for most of the proceedings, they only share one scene together! The supporting cast includes Gaston Modot as a suspicious-looking butler and an impossibly young Georges Rigaud (this was the ageing Euro-Cult favorite's film debut) as a cad who eventually turns heroic.


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