Fantômas (1964 film)
|Directed by||André Hunebelle|
|Produced by||Paul Cadéac (delegate producer)
Cyril Grize (producer)
Alain Poiré (delegate producer)
|Written by||Pierre Souvestre (novels)
Marcel Allain (novels)
Pierre Foucaud (screenplay)
Louis de Funès
|Music by||Michel Magne|
|4 November 1964 (France)
5 April 1966 (U.S.)
9 April 1965 (Finland)
27 May 1966 (West Germany)
23 December 1973 (East Germany)
Fantômas (French pronunciation: [fɑ̃tomas]) is a 1964 French film starring Jean Marais as the arch villain with the same name opposite Louis de Funès as the earnest but outclassed commissaire Paul Juve. In the film Juve teams up with journalist Fandor, also played by Marais, trying to catch Fantômas but never quite succeeding. It was France's answer, in 1964, to the James Bond phenomenon that swept the world at around the same time. It is the first ever of a trilogy film, and Fantômas became extremely successful in Europe, the Soviet Union and Japan. It found success even in the United States, where fan websites exist to this day. Mylène Demongeot plays "Hélène Gurn", the girlfriend of "Jérôme Fandor", Fantômas' arch enemy. The general tone of the films is more light-hearted than the original Fantômas novels. Commissaire Juve, as played by Louis de Funès, becomes a comedic character, much different from his literary counterpart.
Fantômas is a man of many disguises. He uses maquillage as a weapon. He can impersonate anyone using an array of masks and can create endless confusion by constantly changing his appearance. In the first episode of the series he is unhappy with Fandor, because of a fictitious interview the journalist wrote about him. He takes his revenge by abducting Fandor and threatening to kill him. He then uses his formidable makeup skills to commit a spectacular crime while disguised like Fandor. When commissaire Juve joins the chase, chameleon-like Fantômas promptly commits a crime wearing a mask looking like Juve. In the end Fandor, Juve and Fandor's girlfriend Hélène are all on the master criminal's trail, all to no avail as the man of a thousand masks finally manages to escape.
|Louis de Funès||Commissioner Juve|
|Mylène Demongeot||Hélène Gurn|
The film was released in France on 4 November 1964 and in the United States on 5 April 1966.
The Fantômas trilogy
|Fantômas||4 November 1964|
|Fantômas se déchaîne||8 December 1965|
|Fantômas contre Scotland Yard||16 March 1967|