This is the first episode in a four-part series originally broadcast on French TV in 1979; two episodes directed by Claude Chabrol (this is one), the other two directed by Juan Luis Bunuel. Its a solid, pretty faithful adaptation of the first Fantomas novel published in 1911. The series is slightly updated to the 1920's, with the gory violence of the novel played down but the mild eroticism intact. Helmut Berger is good as Fantomas in his many disguises (including the fey actor Valgrand), Jacques Dufilho is good as Inspector Juve, and Gayle Hunnicutt is perfect as Lady Beltham. It appears that Berger and Hunnicutt have been dubbed by French actors. Similar to BBC mysteries from the same period, it is currently available on an inexpensive two-DVD set from ina.fr.
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