- Actors: Musidora, Édouard Mathé, Marcel Lévesque, Jean Aymé, Fernand Herrmann
- Directors: Louis Feuillade
- Writers: Louis Feuillade
- Format: Color, DVD-Video, Silent, NTSC
- Language: English
- Subtitles: English
- Region: All RegionsAll Regions
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Number of discs: 2
- MPAA Rating:
- Studio: eOne Films
- Release Date: May 17 2005
- Run Time: 399 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 17 customer reviews
- ASIN: 6305837147
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #86,713 in Movies & TV Shows (See Top 100 in Movies & TV Shows)
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A legendary seven-hour silent crime serial in ten episodes. "Les Vampires" follows the exploits of a brazen and resourceful band of arch-criminals who rob the rich, transfix the elite of France, and almost elude the obsessive pursuit of crusading journalist Phillipe Guerande and his sidekick Mazamette. A series of Grand Vampires with names such as Satanas and Venomous share the irresistible Irma Vep (an anagram of "vampire") as strategist and mistress. Sometimes seductively garbed in a black body stocking and a black hood, sometimes disguised as a boy or hidden in plain view as a maid, stenographer or bourgeois spinster, feared and desired by both her cohorts and stalkers, Irma is perhaps the first liberated screen woman. Shot off-the-cuff by writer-director Louis Feuillade in the streets and interiors of 1915 Paris, "Les Vampires" was banned by the Paris police for glorifying crime. A smash hit when finally released, and for fifty years celebrated as a masterpiece of French cinema, "Les Vampires" is complete and restored, with English titles and inserts, tints and an evocative orchestral score.
This legendary seven-hour silent French serial, one of the earliest and most original gangster films, combines realism and fantasy. Written and directed by Louis Feuillade, Les Vampires concerns an intrepid reporter's pursuit of a strange gang of jewel thieves terrorizing Paris. The gang ambitiously seeks political, psychological, and sexual domination of the city's social elite, with the seductive Irma Vep (an anagram of "vampire") as its brazen leader. While slow going at first, the 10-part serial becomes more and more fascinating with each episode, thanks in large part to the alluring Musidora as Irma Vep. Because of her many guises and frightful charms, she truly becomes a vampire of sorts. Feuillade achieves a subversive, nightmarish atmosphere amid the everyday goings-on of the city. Filmed on the streets and back alleys of World War I Paris, the 1915 picture was a huge commercial success, though temporarily banned by Paris's chief of police for glamorizing crime. --Bill Desowitz --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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I enjoyed Les Vampires much more.
Of course, you have to set yourself in the period. Excellent product and restauration of the film (for now?? . The marketing business is alway keeping improving and removing minor scratches, contrast, etc. For sure sometime in the future there will be a better one.
But if you like old movies don't hesitate for this set.
This serial is much better than the bad (my opinion) Batman serial of the 40's...
This two disc set was apparently restored by Cinematheque Francaise, but only the title cards are actually clean looking. The rest of the picture has numerous instances of dust and other anomalies. This set is the tinted version, which is nice to see, however, this is a barebones set. There is no audio commentary, or special features of any kind. I would highly recommend Feuillade's earlier series, "Fantomas"(1914-1914), as it is now on blu-ray and it looks stunning, as it has been beautifully restored.
It is said of director Louis Feuillade, that this work is the first film of the silent era that doesn't require putting into a historic framework and I agree. At times this film will shock you in how "contemporary" it feels.
The DVD is a decent quality transfer in 1.33:1 standard screen. The episodes are tinted (yellow for interiors, blue for night scenes, red for love scenes, etc.). I recommend setting your DVD player to black & white for the best picture. The score is a mostly piano soundtrack reminicent of Chopin, which was recorded recently, but is remarkably fitting. The title cards are in present-day English.
This film is a ten-part crime series spanning a total of over 7 hours. Each episode runs approximately 40 minutes or so. The style is slightly comedic, full of espionage, and alot of fun, not very unlike watching a Bond movie today, minus the sexuality. My advice, buy this DVD and set aside a week to watch an episode or two a night. It truly is one of the supreme pleasures of film.
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