Judex (1916, Louis Feuillade), Episode 9: When the Child Appeared

This chapter begins with the principals removed from their problems and living it up on the Mediterranean. Édouard Mathé and mother Yvonne Dario have taken Yvette Andréyor, Olinda Mano, and (of course) René Poyen away from the troubles in Paris to a beautiful seaside estate. Somewhere they can all just relax, safe from Musidora’s evil machinations.

Except, of course, lovestruck René Cresté can’t help but rent the estate next door so he can woo Andréyor (in his own identity). He has to bring his prisoner along with, so he also needs the prisoner’s caretaker. Apparently it never occurs to Cresté someone might see supposed dead Louis Leubas and recognize him. Andréyor’s only his daughter, Mano’s only his grandson.

And Mano is the titular Child who appears. Mano’s encounter with Leubas, which returns Leubas to an active role in Judex for the first time since the prologue, isn’t even the most dramatic thing. No, Musidora is also in town. She’s followed private investigator Marcel Lévesque from Paris, bringing once again evil Jean Devalde along. Devalde has gray hair as a disguise, Musidora dresses as a man.

Still. Apparently no one was worried about Lévesque being an obvious target. And when Mano tells everyone about Leubas living next door, it’s clear Cresté doesn’t have a plan for revealing the truth to Andréyor. He’s just a dope in love.

The chapter ends with Lévesque getting a deus ex love interest in (an uncredited) Lily Deligny. She’s swimming the Mediterranean and just happens to be an ex-girlfriend. Lucky Lévesque.

The serial can get away with some of the contrivances just because of the pace–and Musidora’s scheming–but there’s a decided lack of drama this episode, even though it keeps promising it.

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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