Princess Sonia Danidoff is staying at the Royal Palace Hotel, Paris, and withdraws $20,000 from the cashier's custody, placing the notes in a drawer in company with her magnificent rope of pearls. A few moments after a well-dressed stranger steps from behind the curtains and, with the coolest of sangfroid, steals the valuables in the very presence of the princess, and with a polite bow hands her his card and makes a dignified exit. Upon the card the name "Fantomas" slowly appears. The police are quickly upon the scene, but Fantomas, true to his nom de plume, has vanished. Inspector Robert Juve is the sleuth entrusted to track the mysterious marauder. But before Juve has time to move in the matter of the princess's jewels and cash, another escapade of Fantomas' is thrust upon him to investigate. Lord Beltham is missing. Juve calls on Lady Beltham, and in a man's hat finds the initial "G." With so slight a clue Juve tracks down "Gurn" (none other than the elusive Fantomas) to his ...Written by
Moving Picture World synopsis
NOTE: This isn't a review of the entire "Fantomas" film serial (which, in its entirety, is 5 1/2 hours in length), but of the 54 minute film that starts off the series.
In 1913, a bit over a hundred years prior to this review, cinema was a lot different. There weren't nearly as many ways to explore feelings of humor, anger, and sadness on the screen as there are in today's cinematic world. However, around this time, a few filmmakers began to change the way film was, filmmakers like Georges Melies, D.W. Griffith, and Louis Feuillade, the director of this film.
While I'm sure that the film serial gets far more interesting and entertaining as it goes on, this installment was surely great! Already, there's murder, suspense, and crime as well as some pretty interesting filmmaking techniques (ex: use of close ups, a newly invented technique at that time).
Overall, it definitely makes me excited for the rest of the film serial!
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