Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fantomas Trailer-1964

I just finished watching all three of the enjoyable early sixties French FANTOMAS films with son Bookdave. Ostensibly starring swashbuckling French film legend Jean Marais (BEAUTY AND THE BEAST) as both hero and villain, the first film is easily stolen by the rubber-faced antics of comic actor Lois De Funes as the Police Commissioner. In subsequent films, a la Clouseau and the Pink Panther movies, De Funes has more screen time than anyone. If one is looking for true to the source adaptations of the crime novels from the earliest years of the 2oth century, these are not that. These are more like low budget Bond films where the sly, stylish villain constantly outwits the bumbling heroes. By the third and final film, FANTOMAS VS SCOTLAND YARD, the cracks in the formula were already showing so it's probably good that they stopped when they did. Lots of fun, though (and luckily much better prints than this trailer!).

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