Fantômas is the first of 32 novels penned from 1911 to 1913 by Marcel Allain and Pierre Souvestre. The title character is a ruthless thief and killer, a bloodthirsty successor to LeBlanc's Arsène Lupin. The first five novels were made into silent film serials. The character and the movies caught the eye of the French Surrealists who admired the primal violence of Fantômas, as well as his portrayal in the films, which are considered landmarks in French Cinema. In Fantômas, the Marquise de Langrune is savagely murdered and Inspector Juve, who is obsessed with capturing Fantômas, arrives to solve the murder. (Summary by Alan Winterrowd)
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