Judex (1916, Louis Feuillade), Episode 4: The Secret of the Tomb

I was wondering how Judex was going to move forward–the last chapter ended with villains Musidora and Jean Devalde foiled in their kidnapping of Yvette Andréyor. This chapter begins with Musidora suspicious of Judex’s warnings. She convinces Devalde to investigate and they head to the graveyard. Because why wouldn’t you immediately assume there’s something fishy about someone’s death from the tense in a note.

Hence The Secret of the Tomb. Upon discovering Louis Leubas’s coffin empty, Musidora tracks down lovable private investigator Marcel Lévesque. He’s not lovable for long, however, as he throws in with Musidora and Devalde in an attempt to recover Leubas’s fortunes. Since he’s alive, Andréyor’s donation of them can be overturned.

So, being villainous (and both Musidora and Devalde are exceptional this chapter, particularly as Devalde becomes wary of their schemes and Musidora threatens him back into line), they decide to kill Andréyor.

For some reason it requires them to lure her to the countryside where her son, Olinda Mano, is in hiding. Luckily, Mano and his street-wise compatriot René Poyen are playing on the river where the villains toss Andréyor.

Where’s Judex (René Cresté) during all these goings on? Breaking in Gaston Michel as a combination butler for the underground base and jailer for Leubas.

Poyen’s fantastic here too. He’s turning out to be a better hero than Cresté.

The chapter drags a little–Andréyor has apparently been reduced to a rarely conscious damsel in distress–but the actors get it through just fine.

CREDITS

Directed by Louis Feuillade; written by Arthur Bernède and Feuillade; directors of photography, André Glatti and Léon Klausse; production designer, Robert-Jules Garnier; released by Gaumont.

Starring René Cresté (Judex), Yvette Andréyor (Jacqueline Aubry), Musidora (Diana Monti), Louis Leubas (Favraux), Marcel Lévesque (Cocantin), Jean Devalde (Robert Moralés), Édouard Mathé (Roger de Tremeuse), Olinda Mano (Jean), René Poyen (The Licorice Kid), Gaston Michel (Pierre Kerjean), Lily Deligny (Miss Daisy Torp), Juliette Clarens (Gisèle), Georges Flateau (Vicomte de la Rochefontaine), and Yvonne Dario (Comtesse de Tremeuse).


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