LE FAUX MAGISTRAT (1914)
Article #704 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 2-17-2003
Posting date: 7-17-2003
Directed by Louis Feuillade
Featuring Rene Navarre, Edmond Breon, Georges Melchior
I’m omitting the plot summary because I have to admit that in the fifth and final episode of the serial, my ability to work out the storyline based on visuals and a slight smattering of French has failed me. The problem is that there is lots of text to read, and there are obviously some subtleties in the plot that have escaped me. It definitely involves Fantomas disguising himself as a judge (I think that’s what he is), and he seems to be using his position to recover stolen jewels and procure 250,000 francs, but the details elude me; I may simply have to become more familiar with the French language and give it another shot sometime. There are some striking moments, though, particularly a sequence involving a church bell, and the robbery in the opening sequence.
Nonetheless, to sum up, despite the frustrations of watching something not in my native language, the serial as a whole was a great deal of fun and well worth catching.