Channing Pollock is, I think, pretty great in Georges Franju's Judex. In the segments in which he appears unmasked, he's got a stolid near-blank affect that is, I think, entirely apropos to the unusual revised conception Franju applied to the character—a somewhat puritanical, stiff avenger, and hardly an omnipotent hero. Pollock's mien is often attributed to the fact that he was, indeed, a stage magician and not an actor. But an effective performance is an effective performance, and Pollock deserves credit. As I write in my piece for the Criterion Collection's Current blog, Pollock never achieved international cinematic fame but he was a VERY big deal in the worlds of magic and nightclub showbiz. I've always been fascinated by this disparity, and the recent Criterion release of a beautiful edition of Franju's film gave the the pretext to explore it further. Check out my findings here.
Below, Pollock as a jewel thief, and another iconic character in French pop culture of the time, in Rocambole, released the same year as Judex.