Judex (1916, Louis Feuillade), Episode 6: The Licorice Kid

The Licorice Kid–René Poyen–gets his own chapter. Sort of. Poyen figures into it quite a bit, but it’s not his chapter. He doesn’t even save the day (he does help save the day).

While Yvette Andréyor is safe, René Cresté is still very sad she doesn’t like him after he threatened to kill her father and then he apparently died. So Cresté sends his brother, Édouard Mathé, to pick up Andréyor’s son–Olinda Mano. Except, because it’s Judex and no one can catch a break–villain Musidora is also after Mano. Having lost her previous compatriot, she’s teamed up with Georges Flateau; together, they both boss around adorable but morally bankrupt private investigator Marcel Lévesque.

Except Lévesque isn’t so sure about kidnapping a kid, especially not an adorable one like Mano, and he starts to have regrets. Lévesque wasn’t so upset about potentially murdering Andréyor a chapter or two ago, but whatever. He’s come around. And since Lévesque is himself adorable, it’s nice he’s a good guy again.

Lévesque and Mano are cute together. Poyen and Mathé–they team up to find Mano–are cute together, but not as cute because Mathé’s not adorable like Lévesque.

Thanks to the performances, Kid gets past its big problem–Judex needs someone in distress because instead of Cresté trying to track down Musidora, he sits around and mopes over Andréyor. It went from Andréyor being a target to Mano.

There’s a nice resolution for Poyen. Hopefully not his exit from the serial, but it would be a fine one.

Well-paced too. Judex is definitely hit its stride.

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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