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Les vampires (1915)

Not Rated | | Action, Adventure, Crime | 23 November 1916 (USA)
An intrepid reporter and his loyal friend battle a bizarre secret society of criminals known as The Vampires.

Director:

Louis Feuillade

Writer:

Louis Feuillade
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Cast

Credited cast:
Musidora ... Irma Vep
Édouard Mathé ... Philippe Guérande
Marcel Lévesque ... Oscar Mazamette
Jean Aymé Jean Aymé ... Le Grand Vampire
Fernand Herrmann Fernand Herrmann ... Juan-José Moréno / Brichonnet
Stacia Napierkowska ... Marfa Koutiloff (episode II)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Renée Carl ... L'Andalouse
Suzanne Delvé Suzanne Delvé ... Fleur-de-Lys
Georgette Faraboni Georgette Faraboni ... Danseuse vampire
Jacques Feyder ... (episode V: L'évasion du mort)
Fridolin Fridolin
Rita Herlor Rita Herlor ... Mrs. Simpson (episode I)
Émile Keppens Émile Keppens ... Géo Baldwin
Louise Lagrange ... Jeanne Guérande
Suzanne Le Bret Suzanne Le Bret ... Hortense - servante d'Irma
Edit

Storyline

An intrepid reporter and his loyal friend battle a bizarre secret society of criminals known as The Vampires.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Gaumont [France]

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

23 November 1916 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Vampires See more »

Filming Locations:

Paris, France

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Musidora was an acrobat who did all her own stunts for this film. See more »

Goofs

In episode 7,"Satanas", Moréno several times refers to the watch on his right wrist. In close-up, the watch is on someone's left wrist. See more »

Quotes

from Phillipe's La Fontaine: [Phillipe and Mazamette have had a disagreement. Phillipe gets out La Fontaine and points to a passage] In all things, one must take the end into account.
See more »

Connections

Edited from The Vampires: Satanas (1916) See more »

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User Reviews

Irma Vep? She's a vampire!Check the letters!
30 August 2009 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

Feuillade has become much more popular abroad than in his native France where his movies are seldom screened on "cultural TV ,the Arte Channel or the "Cinema De Minuit".Some critics call "Les Vampires" brainwashing at a time when France was at war .Some critics praise it to the skies.I'm for the golden middle .Feuillade was certainly important in the shaping of the serial (along "the perils of Pauline" in America)but he was not as great a director as his contemporaries David Wark Griffith and Abel Gance (whose career did not begin with "Napoleon" in 1926).

The screenplay of "Les Vampires" is pretty silly,definitely weaker than that of "Fantomas" and it is sure easy to see why: "Fantomas " was first a set of volumes written by Pierre Souvestre and Marcel Allain -and Feuillade botched the first chapters which were the best of the saga :see Paul Fejos's "Fantomas" (1932) for that matter.But the rest was quite acceptable,some movies(the third episode :"Le Mort Qui Tue" notably) highly commendable.

"Les Vampires" was a different matter ,because it was an original screenplay and the writer/director had to kill the "Chef Des Vampires" ,not because he thought the audience needed change ,but because it was the war and the actors were mobilized.That's why Feuillade gave up making "lEs Vampires" after 10 episodes and opted for a "good " hero ,Judex ,a conjurer fighting against the villains.The stories are far-fetched to a fault ,pleasant to watch,but not particularly memorable (Maurice Leblanc was writing much more brilliant stories at the time featuring his hero Arsene Lupin who is much more exciting than his bland hero Philippe Guérande and his mate/undertaker.

Much more than the stories,it's the details that are interesting: the maid Mrs Guerande hires is a Girl from Britanny ,and at the time most of the servants came from that region:this was the subject of Becassine ,a comic strip of the era;it's interesting to note that whereas the villains have lovers,the hero,after losing his fiancée in the second chapter-and he doesn't even shed a tear-,remains chaste till the ...ninth episode in which he finds another one.Musidora's famous black tight caused an outcry : the series remained famous for her but she only appears in her outfit in two brief moments: one when she's scrawling on the roofs and the other one in a hotel where she also appears (that crowns it!) dressed as a young man complete with mustache .

Feuillade's most salutary quality was story -telling :even if the plot seems too often too much ,we can't help but admire the way he uses the pictures and thus keeps his lines to the minimum -a thing many of his colleagues could not do-.

Feuillade's influence in France?One sees little of it in the great directors of the Golden Era (Carné,Renoir,Guitry,Duvivier,Et Al). Feuillade's influence shows ,however,in one of Duvivier's silent films " Le Mystere De La Tour Eiffel" or even in Clair's "Le Fantome Du Moulin Rouge" .

Feuillade 's most dedicated follower was Georges Franju who made a remake of "Judex"(1963) and "Les Nuits Rouges"(1973) ,a failed attempt at a seventies "Vampires".Most of this director's works have something of Feuillade : "Les Yeux Sans Visage"(1959) "La Tête Contre Les Murs" (1960)"Pleins Feux Sur L'Assassin".(1961)

In the seventies,Feuillade's touch appeared again in Rivette's stuff ,but it's reserved for intellectuals.What was once the most popular French cinema of an era became one inspiration for the most cerebral (who said boring?) art.


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