Fantomas Contre le Phantom
In Part Four of the original FANTOMAS, Inspector Juve, that hard-working plodder, is arrested under suspicion of being his arch-enemy Fantomas. And at a masked ball, several characters appear dressed as the super-villain, in black leggings, shirt, cape, and executioner’s hood.
What strikes me as funny here is the similarity with Blake Edwards’ first PINK PANTHER film, which ends with Clouseau arrested as the Phantom, legendary jewel thief, after a climax at a masquerade where both David Niven and Robert Wagner have disguised themselves as gorillas.
Now, Edwards was certainly influenced by TO CATCH A THIEF, which features a famous cat burglar as hero and includes a costume ball as setting for the finale, with undercover cops patrolling the premises in various impractical disguises. But the Fantomas connection seems awfully strong. The clutching hand of Fantomas reaches clean through the twentieth century…