written by & starring Jacques Champreux
Franju’s final film was shot simultaneously in 16mm and 35mm for use in a television series and a theatrical movie. Some of the 35mm negative was stolen and so some of the 16mm footage was used in the feature version. I’ve only seen the theatrical version, dubbed into English (but it was done at the time and suits the picture.) The film making is cruder, harsher, cheaper and even more irrationally poetic than in his previous collaboration with Champreux, Judex. Champreux was of course Louis Feuillade’s grandson, and he and Franju had long wanted to make a new version of Fantômas , but they hadn’t the rights to it; so they made this unauthorized adaptation under another name, and got away with it. The Fantômas figure is simply called L’homme sans visage.