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Fantomas: Collector's Edition (2 Discs)

Released on 20 February 2006

Featuring: Rene Navarre, Edmond Breon & Georges Melchior

Format: DVD | Rating: 15 years & over

5.0 out of 5 (2 customer reviews) | Write a review

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Fantomas, the mysterious arch criminal who holds Paris in the grip of terror, was first brought to the screen in this legendary serial by celebrated French cinema pioneer Louis Feuillade. The creation of authors Marcel Allain and Pierre Souvestre, Fantomas perpetrated the most appalling crimes in 32 hugely popular pulp novels and became a cult favourite of the avante garde, including the painters Rene Magritte and Salvador Dali.

Feuillade's serial was one of cinema's earliest and most strikingly original crime dramas, starring Rene Navarre as Fantomas, the master of disguise and leader of a vast army of street thugs, and Edmond Breon as his nemesis, Inspector Juve. Beautifully restored by Gaumont and the Cinematheque Francaise, the five episodes of Fantomas are among the most fascinating and enthralling silent films ever made.
  • 'Who is Fantomas?' documentary by film critic Kim Newman
  • Louis Feuillade biography
  • Poster and image galleries

customer Reviews

 Average rating (2 reviews)

 Masterpiece that will give infinite pleasure

| | See all danielmabuse's reviews (1)

There are so many reasons for loving these films. First, the stories remain gripping even today, something which can be said of (almost?) no other films from this period. Fantomas is diabolical, and his actions will shock you and the viewer gets caught up in the action and in the mystery. Second, the film-making is truly fascinating. Feuillade used generally immobile cameras, no cutting within scenes, and worked very quickly. Yet almost every setup seems perfect. (You will, however, see 'goofs' where things don't seem to go according to plan but the camera continues rolling anyway). Third, these films are mostly shot on location, in a world that had long vanished before we were ever born. Yet watching them you will feel excitement and a kind of nostalgia for that time you never knew.

 Amazing!

| | See all liquidmuzic's reviews (3)

The story of Fantomas is divided into 5 separate films of about an hour each in length, although one runs approx 90 mins. Fantomas is a arch-criminal. He is a master of disguises, has a loyal group of followers and is ruthless in his actions. He is pursued throughout the 5 films by his nemesis, Inspector Juve and a reporter Jérôme Fandor.
Fantomas is one of the most entertaining silents I've seen and holds up well next to contemporary movies too. Each episode is creative, entertaining and the 5+ hours running time seemed to pass very quickly.
The picture quality is good and the colour tinting enhances viewing. One thing I was very impressed with was the music score. It really added to the atmosphere and enjoyment of the films. Excellent.
Unfortunately, some of the last film has been lost and is replaced with text but does not seriously affect the overall enjoyment of this set.
I would recommend Fantomas to any fans of silent films or anyone wishing to try something different. Actually, since watching Fantomas I've since ordered Louis Feuillade's 'Les Vampires' and 'Judex' which I'm really looking forward to seeing. I thought a 1913 series may be very basic and perhaps unwatchable but I was pretty blown away!

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ActorsRene Navarre, Edmond Breon & Georges Melchior
DirectorLouis Feuillade
Certificate15 years and over
Year1913 - 1914
ScreenFullscreen 4:3
LanguagesSilent: Music accompaniment in Dolby Digital 2.0
SubtitlesFrench intertitles and English subtitles
Duration5 hours and 35 minutes (approx)
RegionRegion 2 - Will only play on European Region 2 or multi-region DVD players.