Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (4)
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The series start shows Fantomas in disguise and Juve's obsession with capturing him.
The film is chiefly best at creating a bizarre, off-kilter mood.
For something that's now 97 years old, it's a terrific, hugely entertaining film.
[E]ven with contemporary eyes you can see why audiences embraced its dime novel deliriousness and surrealists appreciated its mix of elaborate schemes and incoherent complications.
Released one hundred years and a few months ago from the date I'm writing this. This French production is really just exposition for the five film series about the fictional master criminal. This one's subtitle being In the Shadow of the Guillotine. René Navarre would appear four more times as Fantomas, master of disguise. Edmund Breon is Inspector Juve, the observant detective, who is nevertheless always a step or two behind the fiend. Melchior is Fandor, a journalist, who is Juve's sometimes collaborator, but really more of a publicist in this story. Fantomas, the gentlemanly thief and murderer, is first shown stealing a princess's pearls and making a daring escape in disguise. Then as Gurn, Fantomas cozies up to Lady Beltham (Carl), whose husband has disappeared. Juve does succeed in arresting Fantomas, but the villain, with the help of Lady Beltham, who has been thoroughly corrupted, puts into motion a plan to avoid the guillotine. A stage actor named Valgrand (Volbert) and a guard at the prison named Nibet (Naudier) get mixed up in the scheme. The story relies on some impossible coincidences. The performances are generally naturalistic for a silent picture. It is really worth viewing as a historical document representing the costumes, architecture, and set decor of France in the 1910's.
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