Rus Articles Journal

Fantomas (1964). A mask - a mask, I know you?

I need a corpse. I chose you. See you soon! Fantomas . This rhyme many sign since the childhood. No wonder, Soviet film premiere of the most famous movie Fantomas Andree Unebelia took place in 1967, three years later after a tape exit in France. What is characteristic, in the homeland the picture was looked by 4,5 million people, in the USSR - 45 million. Popularity of the French trilogy about Fantomas in the territory of the Soviet Union was so huge

that on an agiotage wave we even had a television detective story based on Lipatov`s works in which the rural district police officer Aniskin fought against intrigues followers ingenious import criminal. However, it is not the only film quote: Fantomas is also mentioned in the Czech fairy tale Arabella children`s book of Nosov Dunno on the Moon and in the Soviet comedy Seven old men and one girl . Generally, French have to us be grateful, we fell in love with their national villain seriously and for a long time.

A series of books of Marcel Allen and Pierre Souvestre was picturized (selectively) several times. The first installation on a subject happened at the beginning of the century, two years later after issue of the novel Fantomas (1911). The mute series consisted of five series and tried to adhere to chronology and plots of books which only for 1911 authors let out exactly 10 pieces. For the subsequent the French cinema-men several times tried to revive half a century on the screen of adventure of the mysterious murderer, but nobody managed to make it with such gloss as to Unebel. The last was intentionally released from works of writers and removed something between parody mystification and a spy thriller, having transferred action in the sixties. Unebel`s trilogy, despite full discrepancy with the book original, is considered the most successful film version to this day.

Paris is captured by panic and fear. Mysterious Fantomas is the murderer, the villain and the imperceptible robber - terrorizes the capital, directing horror at wealthy citizens. It with improbable ease leaves from police, and even the commissioner Zhyuv, famous in the people, cannot catch the criminal, though promises from all TV screens that Fantomas here - here will be seized.

Helplessness of law enforcement bodies amuses the star journalist of the " newspaper; Dawn Gerome Fandor. Convinced that Fantomas - only an invention, he izgalyatsya in every possible way in the articles over the panicking citizens and even juggles with the facts to improve edition circulation. However its next article with counterfeit photos and fabricated interview amused all, except Fantomas. Having beheld an obvious sneer at itself in the text, the villain kidnaps the reporter and orders it to write a denial urgently.

Business was not limited to one article. The mysterious bandit plans not only to improve the image in the press, but also behind a mask of Fandor (Fantomas learned to copy faces of the victims) to rob display of jewelry of high society completely to discredit the scribbler in the opinion of readers. And only Zhyuv who, despite the foolish tricks, is completely devoted to business of capture of the criminal can rescue Fandor now. Together the journalist and the commissioner come for hunting, but Fantomas is too cunning and inventive from the first to be fallen into a trap by

Undoubtedly, ingenious stylization and the smart comedy, one of the best in a track record of the brilliant French comedian Louis De Funessa. In the first movie the actor was engaged in a supporting role, but having estimated the potential of the character, further (subsequently there were two more continuations) producers drew all blanket on the commissioner Zhyuva, and Fantomas against Skotlend - Yard - it is simply De Funes`s benefit performance.

Funny, but the Soviet audience, in the majority unfamiliar with Allen and Souvestre`s creativity, apprehended the movie for a pure coin. Yunebel did not suppress the fact that shot the parody, buffoonery, a mockery on the set subject, without trying to picturize popular pulp fiction of the beginning of the XX century at all. That is why in the movie many things are put upside down and heroes are not similar to the literary prototypes at all.

We will begin with the fact that the security service inspector Zhyuv is not the so excentric moron to which he was exposed by authors of the trilogy. Certainly, Allen and Souvestre were inspired by works of Englishman Arthur Conan Doyle, and Zhyuv`s tandem - Fandor was conceived as the French answer to a classical British duet Holmes - Watson. Book Zhyuv is a cool attendant of the law which, as well as Holmes, has the gift of deduction, it is extremely observant and prudent. It accepts rules of the game, using all improvised methods, but is not deprived of charm, is cunning and as well as his rival, likes to mask.

Well-known to Jeanne Mara which at the time of a tape premiere already was in the status of the superstar and inhabitant of heaven played trilogies two roles at once - Fandor and Fantomas. And if the first turned out at it just smartly, then the villain in a mask became really cult character. However, the actor admitted later that from continuous wearing a rubber mask he played a serious allergy in this connection after the end of shootings of the third picture to Mara flatly refused to participate in the subsequent sequels, one of which (by hearsay, extended by the actress Mylene Demongeot) could carry the name Fantomas in Moscow . And Louis De Funes rather was tired of the role though to him - that was to complain a sin because the commissioner Zhyuv turned it suddenly into the leading comic actor of France.

Concerning discrepancies it is possible to speak long, beginning from fine details (the newspaper in which Fandor worked, actually was called Capital but not Dawn and itself to Mara was about thirty years more senior than the book reporter) and finishing with the general plot. Unebel wanted to shoot the comedy and made it in a big way to which any parodies, it seems " can envy; Austen Pauers . Some shots forever became classics. Remember at least peacefully having breakfast De Funes who forgot to pull out earplugs after restless night. Or the well-known episode with a false hand from the tape Fantomas raged . And, of course, an exceptional scene with hung up in the room from the tape Fantomas against Skotlend - Yard .

For half a century Allen and Souvestre produced 43 novels about Fantomas, and Allen wrote the last 11 books alone, his coauthor died. Unebel was limited to three movies. Subsequently French tried to approach the screen version seriously, having let out on television free - German pass - series under the leadership of Claude Chabrol and Juan Luis Bunuel (the son that Bunuel). Four series of the television movie scrupulously followed a book plot, however star Helmut Berger`s participation ( Twilight of the gods ) a convenient format did not help the project. The picture, by the way, was shown also on our television, but the audience could not appreciate it because they entirely believed that Unebel`s version - only correct. And to dissuade them from it if it is honest, there is no wish.