Judex (1916, Louis Feuillade), Episode 11: The Water Goddess

So while Yvonne Dario is still consoling Yvette Andréyor about deceiving her–again, it’s not clear how much of the blame Dario takes on herself, which should be a lot since she made René Cresté vow to kill Andréyor’s father–Cresté goes off to save Andréyor’s father. On the way, he meets up with his brother, Édouard Mathé, who managed to get out of the house without raising Andréyor’s suspicions. Mathé tries to give Cresté a pistol but Cresté doesn’t need one.

What he does need is to pay some attention. At the meeting spot, Musidora sneaks up on Cresté. She’s on a boat. He doesn’t see a boat. Nearby, Marcel Lévesque and his girlfriend, Lily Deligny, see the boat. Which is good, because Deligny has to go save Cresté after he gets taken prisoner because he’s not good at planning. At all.

Deligny is the titular Water Goddess and, along with René Poyen, one of Judex’s real heroes.

It’s a fairly action-packed chapter. Not particularly suspenseful, as director Feuillade draws more attention to the melodramatic possibilities–but still action-packed. It’s good Judex has established Cresté as unable to think about anything else when he’s got Andréyor on his mind, because he forgets about Deligny. He also forgets about the guy he gets killed. He’s preoccupied. He’s convinced Louis Leubas (as Andréyor’s father) there might be a happy ending for all.

Except the dead people.

Lévesque’s got some adorable physical comedy and Goddess is paced well. It just further reveals, presumably unintentionally, Cresté to be more a feckless blue blood than determined vigilante.

One episode to go. Then the epilogue.


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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