Les Vampires, Episode IV – The Specter

Les Vampires, Episode IV – Le Spectre

Les Vampires, Episode IV – The Specter

Musidora (Artist)

Finally Back on the Silver Screen

Introducing the most important figures in the series: Irma Vep, the only female member of the gang led by the Grand Vampire; Moreno, a rival of the gang; Philippe Guérande, a journalist in pursuit of the vampires; and Mazzamette, his assistant.
This episode celebrates the get-away skills of the vampires and of Irma Vep in particular. The Grand Vampire pretends he is an estate agent while Irma Vep works as a typist at a bank. Moreno too falls back on disguise tactics. For her part, Irma Vep uses her wit and charm to achieve her evil aims and cock a snook at the journalist. That akimbo pose, where she places her arms on her hips, is a reference to the »Apache« Woman stereotype that Polaire had affected in La tournée des grands ducs.
Because Irma Vep repeatedly pops up in new disguises, she often glances with a sidelong look at the camera to help the audience recognise her.

Director / Script

Louis Feuillade


Georges Guérin, Manichoux


Georges Guérin


Musidora, Édouard Mathé, Fernand Hermann, Marcel Levesque, Jean Ayme




Gaumont Pathé Archives

Musidora (Artist)

Musidora (Jeanne Roques, 1889-1957) came from a progressive artistic family and studied art and drama. Following her theatre debut in 1910, she appeared in the classy revues at the Bataclan and Folies Bergère, the legendary »music-halls« in Paris. On account of her striking stage presence and her versatility as an actress, director Louis Feuillade offered her roles in his films at Gaumont. From 1914 to 1917, Musidora thus played wicked women in the sensational serials Les Vampires and Judex as well as over a dozen comedy parts alongside star comedian Marcel Levesque. It was in this way that she became the screen icon for attractive gangster moll in silent film. Until the beginning of the 1920s, then, Musidora remained loyal to the revue scene and was rated one the most popular stars of stage and screen in France. In 1920, she founded her own film production company for which she wrote and produced three dramas and a self-ironical theatre & film treatment, taking the lead role in each. These characters were often criminal too but usually could justify their treachery and homicidal urges. In 1925, Musidora had to give up her company for financial reasons, after which she lived as a sculptor and writer, making the occasional stage appearance. She spent the last ten years of her life as an employee at the Cinémathèque Française assisting on a major research project about French silent movies.

Films with Musidora
La tierra de los toros 1924 | Soleil et Ombre 1922 | Pour Don Carlos 1920 | Vicenta 1919