Judex

Director Louis Feuillade won fame and critical acclaim with his early crime serials, Fantômas (1913-14) and Les Vampires (1915). These episodic films were hugely popular, but they also brought Feuillade a fair amount of criticism from the bourgeois establishment, who accused him of glorifying crime and making heroes of criminals. Feuillade’s well-meaning response to this brow-beating was another serial, the 12-part epic entitled Judex. The Plot: When his family is ruined by the unscrupulous banker Favraux, Jacques de Tremeuse resolves to bring him to justice. Adopting a disguise and the name Judex, he captures the crooked banker and takes him to his secret lair. Learning of Favraux’s dishonest ways, his daughter Jacqueline gives away his wealth when she learns of his death. This infuriates a pair of ruthless crooks, Diana Monti and Moralés, who immediately swear to take revenge on Jacqueline, and her protector, Judex.

Fantômas: In the Shadow of the Guillotine

For the arch-criminal Fantômas, no crime is too daring, too adventurous. A master of disguise, he has no trouble relieving the Princess Danidoff of her priceless pearl necklace at the Royal Palace Hotel. Inspectator Juve is determined to capture Fantômas and put an end to his limitless villainy. Whilst investigating the disappearance of Lord Beltham, Juve finds himself on the trail of his arch-enemy once more. He discovers that Beltham’s widow has been having a secret affair with a mysterious stranger, Gurn. In Gurn’s apartment, Juve discovers the dead body of Lord Beltham and business cards bearing the name Fantômas. A triumphant Juve makes an easy arrest of Gurn, alias Fantômas, and is sure that nothing can save the evil-doer from the guillotine. But Lady Beltham has an ingenious plan to save her lover, using an actor Valgrand who closely resembles Gurn.