Louis Feuillade  

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"[ Edgar Wallace ] began writing in 1905, at the height of the period of uncertainty that also influenced the works of Feuillade and Gaston Leroux." --Immoral Tales: European Sex & Horror Movies 1956-1984, p. 13

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Louis Feuillade (February 19 1873February 25 1925) was a French film director from the silent era. He is primarily known for the serials Fantômas, Les Vampires and Judex.


Louis Feuillade was born in Lunel (Herault - France) in a family of modest wine merchants. Just beyond adolescence, he showed a deep interest in literature and created numerous drama and vaudeville projects. His excessively academic poems were occasionally published in local newspapers, and he acquired a reputation for his articles devoted to bullfighting. He came to Paris in 1898 to acquire literary fame, but would suffer miserably for several years.

At the beginning of 1905, he started to regularly sell screenplays to Gaumont, and soon got the chance to direct them himself. In 1907, he was appointed artistic director of the company. He would occupy this position until 1918, while at the same time continuing to produce his own films, so that by 1925, the year of his death, he estimated that he had made around 800 films. (At the time he started in cinema, a film rarely lasted more than ten minutes). He made films of all types: trick films at the beginning, modeled on those of the great Méliès, comedies, bourgeois dramas, historical or biblical dramas, mysteries and exotic adventures … But he showed his genius most clearly in his unforgettable serial films. The Fantomas serial in 1913 was his first masterpiece, the result of a long apprenticeship—during which the series with realistic ambitions, Life as it is, played a major role. It is also the first masterpiece in what the modern critic, from both a literary and a cinematographic point of view, would later call "the fantastic realism" or the "social fantastic".

He is credited with developing many of the thriller techniques used famously by Fritz Lang, Alfred Hitchcock, and others.



  • Tea at the Porter's House (Le Thé chez la concierge) (the oldest of his films that survives)


  • The Legend of the Spinner (La Légende de la fileuse) (film with tricks, Méliès style)


  • "Baby" serial: Baby Apache (Bébé Apache) - 1911 (Series of comedies performed by a 4-year-old child, the little Clément Mary, later René Dary - around 90 short films).


  • Heliogabale (ancient drama)


  • Serial Life as it is: The Defect (La vie telle qu'elle est: la Tare) - 1911 (dramas and realistic comedies - 14 films)


  • Series of Fantomas (Mystery drama - 5 films)
  • Series of Bout de Zan: Bout de Zan steals an elephant (Bout de Zan vole un éléphant) - 1913 (This serial, performed by the little René Poyen, replaces the Bébé serial - 62 short films)
  • Series The funny Life: The Jocond (La vie drôle: le Jocond) (vaudevilles - 5 films)



  • Judex (12 episodes)


  • Vendemiaire (Rural drama during the First-World-War - in 2 parts)
  • Tih-Minh (12 episodes)



  • Good Mood: Seraphin or the Naked Legs (Belle Humeur: Seraphin ou les jambes nues) - 1921 (vaudevilles - 5 films)


  • Parisette (12 episodes)


  • Vindicta (5 stages)

See also

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