in about 100 words or less
France 54m, B&W, Silent
Director: Louis Feuillade; Cast: René Navarre, Edmond Bréon, Georges Melchior, Renée Carl, Jane Faber
Based upon the popular book series, by Marcel Allain and Pierre Souvestre, In the Shadow of the Guillotine is the first part of the Fantômas film serial about the villain Fantômas, who is captured, sent to prison awaits the death sentence. Though a primitive film, with a stationary camera and few edits, there are glimpses of more modern techniques with deeper and more complicated sets, and varying camera angles which keep thing interesting. As precursor to his own film Vampires (1915), and as inspiration to Lang’s Dr. Mabuse the Gambler (1922) and Spies (1928), Fantômas was an important early contribution to the development of the crime drama (Klaus Ming January 2016).