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The Phantom Baron (1943)

Le baron fantôme (original title)
Elfy, Countess of Saint-Hélié's daughter, was brought up with her foster sister Anne, in an old dilapidated castle whose landlord, Baron Julius Carol, disappeared mysteriously some day. The... See full summary »


Serge de Poligny


Louis Chavance (screenplay), Jean Cocteau (dialogue) | 2 more credits »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
André Lefaur André Lefaur ... Eustache Dauphin dit Monseigneur - le faux Louis XVII
Odette Joyeux ... Elfy de Saint-Hélié
Jany Holt ... Anne
Alain Cuny ... Hervé
Gabrielle Dorziat ... La comtesse de Saint-Helie
André Alerme ... Le colonel (as Alerme)
Aimé Clariond ... L'évêque
Marguerite Pierry Marguerite Pierry ... Fébronie Dauphin
Claude Sainval Claude Sainval ... Albéric de Marignac
Charles Vissières Charles Vissières ... Toussaint - le domestique
Jean Cocteau ... Le baron Julius Carol - le baron fantôme
Marguerite de Morlaye Marguerite de Morlaye ... Une vieille dame
Marcel Pérès Marcel Pérès ... Léopold - le frère de Fébronie
Jean Diéner Jean Diéner ... Joseph - le cocher
Jacques Ory Jacques Ory ... Hervé enfant


Elfy, Countess of Saint-Hélié's daughter, was brought up with her foster sister Anne, in an old dilapidated castle whose landlord, Baron Julius Carol, disappeared mysteriously some day. The two girls had a playmate, Hervé, the son of the gamekeeper. Now that they are adult, Anne is in love with Hervé while Elfy thinks she loves the young man. One day, the baron's mummified body is found in an oubliette and the secret of the estate is revealed... Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

royalty | ghost | See All (2) »









Release Date:

16 June 1943 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Phantom Baron See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Re-released in France in 1971. See more »

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User Reviews

10 October 2010 | by dbdumonteilSee all my reviews

"Le Baron Fantôme" ,as its follow-up in Serge De Poligny's canon,"La Fiancée Des Ténèbres" ,belongs to the escape movies ,a genre which gave several classics in occupied France:"Les Visiteurs Du Soir" "L'Eternel Retour" "La Nuit Fantastique" "Le Loup Des Malveneur".....

"Le Baron" has a better screenplay than "La Fiancée" ;both blend Gothic ghost stories,fairy tales and melodrama ,but ,perhaps because of the little help from Cocteau,the story is more coherent .

But the biggest influences are to be found in "Peter Ibetson" (children in love who learn how it is painful growing up) and even in "Wuthering heights" (Hervé bears more than a distant resemblance to Heathcliff).The nobles/commoners antagonism recalls scenes of "Douce" ,Autant-Lara's masterpiece of the era ,released the same year ,with the same actress (Odette Joyeux).Sometimes it looks like a rosy version of "Douce" .

A baron (check the title) disappeared one night and when his sister (Gabrielle Dorziat)and her daughter (Odette Joyeux) arrive to the castle (the lady is broke),they find nobody home ,except for an old servant. Ten years after,the girl has turned into a gorgeous young maid . Anne (Jany Holt),her childhood friend ,is still considered a servant by the old dowager.Anne and Hervé (Alain Cuny,the star of "les Visiteurs Du Soir" ) know they were born to see other people live and to stay in the shadow.If Hervé is a wild but tender rebel ,Anne is the defiant one.Jany Holt gives a very subtle performance ,by far the best of the four young leads.The viewer often asks himself whether she is an unfortunate victim of an unfair society or if she is evil.A subplot (which strongly reminds me of Jacques Prévert) involves a "prince" who would be the Dauphin (Louis The Sixteenth's son) after his escape from the Prison Du Temple (at the time nobody knew the truth which was revealed recently).His mansion is decorated with famous paintings (notably "Marie-Antoinette Et Ses Enfants" ).

When they wrote the screenplay of "Pleins Feux Sur L'Assassin" (1962,Georges Franju),Boileau-Narcejac were certainly remembering " Le Baron Fantôme" .

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