Fantômas / Mighty Ursus (1964 / 1961) UK Quad Poster
France's answer to the success of James Bond was Fantômas, the sociopathic super criminal always one step ahead of the police, or anyone else foolish enough to tangle with him. Created in 1911 by Marcel Allain and Pierre Souvestre, the character appeared in over 40 books, and the film series which started with this (followed by Fantômas se déchaîne in 1965 and Fantômas contre Scotland Yard the next year).
This film series made the stories more comedic and cartoonish, with Louis de Funès as the hapless Commissaire Juve, and Jean Marais as both Fantômas and Fandor, the journalist who pursues him (and performing some breathtaking stunts along the way). Director André Hunebelle introduced Fantômas' now iconic blue mask and black gloves, as well as the endless disguises he uses to enact his plans. There is no doubt this series was a major influence on the mask-making in Mission Impossible, which appeared on TV in 1966.
Mighty Ursus was directed by peplum specialist Carlo Campogalliani, and released on a double bill with Jack the Giant Killer (1962) in the US. Ed Fury played Ursus in three of the nine film series, with a barbarism (strangling opponents to death rather than unconsciousness) missing from the performances of Samson Burke, Dan Vadis or Reg Park.
Condition: GOOD - Creases, edge dinks and stained pinholes, ink transfer and print through of number on rear, to left of Mighty Ursus tagline.
Cast: Jean Marais, Louis de Funès, Mylène Demongeot, Jacques Dynam / Ed Fury, Mary Marlon, Moira Orfei, Luis Prendes, Mario Scaccia, Soledad Miranda