Poster from the 1963 Judex remake
The French fictional character Judex is a mysterious avenger who dresses in black and wears a slouch hat and cloak, created by Louis Feuillade and Arthur Bernède. Originally conceived as a heroic version of the criminal character Fantômas, Judex appears to have been an inspiration for the American pulp hero The Shadow, who was himself an inspiration for Batman.
Louis Feuillade had already made two popular earlier serials, Fantômas (1913) and Les Vampires (1915) which were popular with audiences, but drew criticism for glorifying criminals. As a consequence Feuillade decide to create a heroic persona, Judex, but one who had all of the sinister trappings of the flamboyant villains who were popular at the time. Judex was conceived by Feuillade and novelist Arthur Bernède, who also published a novel based on the script and adapted the original film for the stage in 1923.
After his father committed suicide as a result of being ruined by the villainous banker Favraux, Jacques de Trémeuse adopted the guise of Judex and assembled an organization of ex-criminals and circus people to bring down Favraux and his lethal mistress Marie Verdier. He anticipated later pulp heroes and superheroes in many respects. He was a masterful fighter and an expert at disguise, and boasted a secret headquarters. In the subterranean passages beneath a ruined castle Judex had a base outfitted with technological gadgets. He also had a secret identity, as Judex (the Latin word for judge) is a nom-de-guerre he has adopted in his quest for revenge. Although the original Judex serial derived from the first Fantômas also directed by Louis Feuillade, the story beared several similarities with The Count of Monte Cristo.
Judex initially appeared in movie serials, but has been adapted into other media over the years.
Though Judex was made in 1914, the outbreak of World War I delayed its release. It was finally premiered in December 1916, and subsequently in wider release in 1917–1918.
Judex's New Mission (1917)
A sequel serial was released in 1917 titled Judex's New Mission (La Nouvelle Mission de Judex).
Another remake was done in 1963 by director Georges Franju under the same title. The story was shortened and simplified but remained true to the original. American magician Channing Pollock was cast as the mysterious hero.
|Judex's New Mission
|Judex/Jacques de Trémeuse||René Cresté||René Ferté||Channing Pollock|
|Le banquier Favraux||Louis Leubas||Alexandre Mihalesco||Michel Vitold|
|Jacqueline Favraux||Yvette Andréyor||Louise Lagrange||Édith Scob|
|Alfred Cocantin||Marcel Lévesque||Marcel Vallée||Jacques Jouanneau|
|Roger de Trémeuse||Édouard Mathé||Jean Lefebvre|
|Le petit Jean||Olinda Mano||Jean Borelli|
|Marie Verdier/Diana Monti||Musidora||Blanche Bernis||Francine Bergé|
|Robert Moralés||Jean Devalde||Nino Constantini||Théo Sarapo|
Judex: Published in 1917, by Arthur Bernède and Louis Feuillade, based on the 1916 serial, and reissued in 1925 as Les Nouveaux Exploits de Judex (Judex' New Adventures). Black Coat Press published an adaptation by Rick Lai in 2012.
Judex' New Mission: Published in 1919, by Arthur Bernède and Louis Feuillade, based on the 1918 serial, and reissued 1925 as La Dernière Incarnation de Judex (Judex' Last Incarnation). Black Coat Press published an adaptation by Rick Lai in 2013, titled The Return of Judex.
In 2013, Black Coat Press published a new screenplay by Robert L. Robinson, Jr., of a new adaptation of the Judex character.
Tales of the Shadowmen, Volume 3: Danse Macabre: Published in 2007, Judex appears in one short story, "Two Hunters" by Robert L. Robinson, Jr.
Tales of the Shadowmen, Volume 7: Femmes Fatales: Published in 2010, Judex appears in two short stories, "What Rough Beast" by Matthew Baugh and "Faces of Fear" by Matthew Dennion
Tales of the Shadowmen, Volume 8: Agents Provocateurs: Published in 2011, Judex appears in two short stories, "Judex vs Belphegor" by John Gallagher and "The Affair of the Necklace Revisited" by Jean-Marc Lofficier & Randy Lofficier
Night of the Nyctalope: Published in 2012, Judex appears in one short story, "Justice and Power" by Christofer Nigro
The Shadow of Judex: Published in 2013. Contains all the above Judex short stories and 16 additional ones.
Shadowmen: Heroes and Villains of French Pulp Fiction: Published in 2003, by Jean-Marc Lofficier and Randy Lofficier, published by Black Coat Press is an encyclopedic guide to some of the most important characters from French Fiction, including Judex.
French comic magazine Hurrah! published by Editions Mondiales in June 1940 began a comic series of Judex, which was in actuality, a French translation of the American syndicated Shadow comic strip.
- Coolfrenchcomics Judex Page
- Internationalhero Judex page
- Penumbra by Chris Roberson
- The Judex Codex by Dennis Power
- Judex (1916) at the Internet Movie Database
- La nouvelle mission de Judex (1917) at the Internet Movie Database
- Judex (1934) at the Internet Movie Database
- Judex (1963) at the Internet Movie Database