Les Vampires

1915 film by Louis Feuillade / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Les Vampires is a 1915–16 French silent crime serial film written and directed by Louis Feuillade. Set in Paris, it stars Édouard Mathé, Musidora and Marcel Lévesque. The main characters are a journalist and his friend who become involved in trying to uncover and stop a bizarre underground Apache gang, known as The Vampires (who are not the mythological beings their name suggests). The serial consists of ten episodes, which vary greatly in length. Being roughly 7 hours long, it is considered one of the longest films ever made.[2] It was produced and distributed by Feuillade's company Gaumont. Due to its stylistic similarities with Feuillade's other crime serials Fantômas and Judex, the three are often considered a trilogy.[3]

Quick facts: Les Vampires, Directed by, Written by, Starri...
Les Vampires
French teaser campaign poster
Directed byLouis Feuillade
Written byLouis Feuillade
StarringÉdouard Mathé
Marcel Lévesque
Music byRobert Israel (2000)
Éric le Guen (2008)
Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra (2012)
Distributed byComptoir Ciné-Location[1]
Release date
13 November 1915 – 30 June 1916
Running time
10 episodes (417 minutes)
LanguageSilent (with French intertitles)

Fresh from the success of Feuillade's previous serial, Fantômas, and facing competition from rival company Pathé, Feuillade made the film quickly and inexpensively with very little written script. Upon its initial release Les Vampires was given negative reviews by critics for its dubious morality and its lack of cinematic techniques compared to other films.[4] However, it was a massive success with its wartime audience, making Musidora a star of French cinema.[5] The film has since come under re-evaluation and is considered by many to be Feuillade's magnum opus and a cinematic masterpiece. It is recognised for developing thriller techniques, adopted by Alfred Hitchcock and Fritz Lang,[6] and avant-garde cinema, inspiring Luis Buñuel,[7] Henri Langlois, Alain Resnais, and André Breton.[8] It is included in the book 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.[9]