Judex (1916)

JUDEX (1916)
(Serial)
Article #966 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 11-6-2003
Posting Date: 4-4-2004
Directed by Louis Feuillade
Featuring Rene Creste, Musidora, Rene Poven

Judex fights against the evil banker Flavreux and his assistant Diana Monti.

Adventures in moviehunting: Feuillade’s LES VAMPIRES is a recently restored easy-to-find French serial that is available with English titles. Does this one appear on my hunt list? No. Instead, Feuillade’s preceeding serial FANTOMAS and his subsequent one JUDEX pop up on my hunt list, both of which are deucedly difficult to find, and when they are found, have French title cards. At least FANTOMAS (which consisted of five feature-length episodes) was in wonderful shape and fairly easy to understand; JUDEX is in pretty poor condition and is almost impenetrable if you don’t have command of the French language. Yet I feel fortunate to have even found it in the first place. Go figure.

In short, I haven’t been able to gleen what’s going on in this serial, though I have read a few things. Favraux is mentioned as the main villain, though he appears to have been captured by Judex in the first episode and spends most of the serial locked in a cell where Judex watches him over a television screen (the only real fantastic element of the plot); the main criminal activity seems to be from the Diana Monti character, and most of the time, I have no idea just what she’s up to. There are still some engaging sequences here and there; in particular, a sequence where Judex uses a gang of dogs to help him out is fairly memorable and quite amusing. Nonetheless, I will have little to say about this one until I can learn to read French. Maybe it’s time to do so…

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