Judex (1917)

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donnie
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Judex (1917)

Post by donnie » Sat Jun 17, 2017 2:28 pm

I'd like to present some thoughts on the French serial Judex (1917). For those unfamiliar with it, it is the work of director Louis Feuillade (better known for Les Vampires) and consists of twelve episodes plus a prologue. I wrote a review of it years ago on the old GS site. If you're a silent film fan, and you've never seen this, you MUST at some point in your life. It ranks very near the top of my list of all-time favorites.

The story is a serial crime drama of sorts, and involves the exploits of the title character, a sort Count of Monte Christo type of mysterious avenger. The story is beautifully acted and photographed. I can't go into too much detail of the plot without giving spoilers. Just suffice it to say that it is a lot of fun, full of wildly improbable plot twists and surprises (one particularly astonishing). The action starts rather slowly in the prologue, but steadily picks up in interest, and you're soon hooked. I was sorry when it was over.

Aside from the interesting plot, much of the fascination of this series for me is that it was filmed at many different types of locations in and around 1916 Paris (as well as the South of France Mediterranean coast for the last three episodes). It is like being able to travel back to the France of a hundred years ago. The clothing, interiors, details of technology, wonderful views of the Paris city streets and countryside, opportunity to observe the nuances of people's interactions with each other—all of these provide a feel in what French life of that time must have been like.

If you have ever seen Les Vampires or Fantômas, the other serials of Feuillade, several members of the cast will be familiar. The actors seem to grow into their roles and the characters do become more fully developed throughout the series. René Cresté in the role of Judex and Musidora as his arch nemesis Diana Monti [below] are especially good. Yvette Andréyor is excellent as the daughter of the banker Favraux.

The Flicker Alley dvd set is beautifully done, with the marvelous score of Robert Israel, one of the best I've heard. The other two serials of Louis Feuillade are fantastic, as well, but Judex is definitely my favorite of the three. Highly recommended!
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Mrs. Danvers
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Re: Judex (1917)

Post by Mrs. Danvers » Sat Jun 17, 2017 3:27 pm

Donnie awesome review. I am a big fan of Les Vampires and the actress Musidora.

You certainly nailed it on the head about our fascination with silents films, at least mine as well. I am a sponge when it comes to soaking up the atmosphere of the films, the locations, the clothes, the cars, all manner of things of the time, it's like a time machine of sorts for sure.

I know I'd like the series.
When my people come to colonize this planet, your name will be on the protected rolls, and you will come to no harm.
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donnie
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Re: Judex (1917)

Post by donnie » Sat Jun 17, 2017 4:56 pm

Mrs. Danvers wrote:
Sat Jun 17, 2017 3:27 pm
You certainly nailed it on the head about our fascination with silents films, at least mine as well. I am a sponge when it comes to soaking up the atmosphere of the films, the locations, the clothes, the cars, all manner of things of the time, it's like a time machine of sorts for sure.
Thanks. :) Yes, indeed, even the telephone sets they use in Judex are unique and interesting.

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