Les Vampires (1915)
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Louis Feuillade's pioneering silent serial -- whose ten episodes weigh in at nearly eight hours -- concerns Guèrande (Edouard Mathé), a journalist who is trying to uncover the truth about a mysterious society of anarchist gangsters who call themselves Les Vampires. While they don't drink the blood of the living, Les Vampires are the uncrowned monarchs of the criminal underworld, and as Guèrande struggles to learn the full extent of their lawless activities and the true identity of leaders the Grand Vampire (Jean Aymé) and Irma Vep (Juliet Musidora), he learns a tremendous amount about their intelligence, their cunning, and their treachery. A runaway hit in its initial release, which proved to be a major influence on the work of Fritz Lang and Alfred Hitchcock, Les Vampires also inspired Olivier Assayas' revisionist look at the film's leading lady, Irma Vep. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for Les Vampires
Louis Feuillade's extraordinary ten-part silent serial of 1916, running just under eight hours, is one of the supreme delights of film.
It's possible to overstate the extent to which all this is a bunch of fun: if shown, as it often is, in one great unnatural marathon, it can be sheer torture.
A cracking good story...in those wonderful moments where Musidora's kohl-marked face stares right out of the screen and into your soul, it's terribly perfect.
The elaborate production, written and directed by Louis Feuillade, is an epic modern crime thriller, the precursor to many of today's multi-million dollar action films.
[Director Louis Feuillade] masterfully builds suspense over the film's massive, nearly 7-hour running time.
...this magical mystery tour through a deadly Parisian landscape is, like A Trip to the Moon, a towering and radical work of narrative fiction.
Audience Reviews for Les Vampires
this isn't a horror movie; it's a crime thriller. produced by gaumont to compete with the popular perils of pauline serial, it's divided into 10 parts, average 30-45 minutes. these were shown in theaters before the main feature. the story follows reporter philippe guérande's investigation of the mysterious exploits of a gang of master criminals known as les vampires. it's full of nefarious plots, disguises and daring escapes, with stunning stuntwork. musidora, a former acrobat, plays irma vep, cinema's first femme fatale, slinking around in a body stocking like catwoman. comic relief is provided by guérande's friend mazamette, who often appears to address the camera. yes it took awhile to get through, but for the most part it was highly entertaining :)More
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