Eyes Without a Face 1959

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(18) IMDb 7.8/10
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Guilt-ridden after recklessly crashing his car and leaving his daughter severely disfigured, celebrated plastic surgeon Dr Gennesier becomes obsessed with restoring her beauty by transplanting a new face onto her mutilated features. Aided by his devoted assistant Louisa, young woman are lured back to his home to become unwitting 'donors' in his horrific procedures. Although too much for many critics of the day to stomach, Franju's masterpiece is now considered to be one of the greatest, most influential and disturbing horror films ever made.

Starring:
Michel Etcheverry, Rene Genin
Rental Formats:
DVD, Blu-ray

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 26 minutes
Starring Michel Etcheverry, Rene Genin, Alida Valli, Yvette Etievant, Alexandre Rignault, Charles Blavette, Francois Guerin, Edith Scob, Claude Brasseur, Marcel Peres, Juliette Mayniel, Lucien Hubert, Beatrice Altariba, Pierre Brasseur
Director Georges Franju
Genres Horror
Studio LACE GROUP
Rental release Limited availability
Main languages French
Subtitles English
Discs
  • Feature ages_15_and_over
Runtime 1 hour 26 minutes
Starring Michel Etcheverry, Rene Genin, Alida Valli, Yvette Etievant, Alexandre Rignault, Charles Blavette, Francois Guerin, Edith Scob, Claude Brasseur, Marcel Peres, Juliette Mayniel, Lucien Hubert, Beatrice Altariba, Pierre Brasseur
Director Georges Franju
Genres Horror
Studio Lace DVD
Rental release Not currently released
Main languages French
Subtitles English

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
This item has not been released yet and is not eligible to be reviewed.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 41 people found the following review helpful By G. Fletcher on 13 Mar 2008
Format: DVD
With so many unforgettable moments - from the opening scene (accompanied by highly disturbing carnival music) of vampish Louise driving in her 2CV to dump a body at the banks of the Seine; to the unflinching shots of `mad scientist' Dr Genessier's horrific surgical experiments, and the sublime scenes of Christiane gliding ethereally down the steps from the attic in which she is kept - this is a superior horror movie in every way.

Eyes Without a Face (or Les Yeux sans Visage, if you want to be a bit French) combines elements of the Gothic novel with a surrealist sensibility to create an absolutely unforgettable cinematic experience. Long after the cheap-shock tricks of many of today's horror franchises have been forgotten, the hauntingly beautiful scenes of Christiane's eyes gazing through her mask, and the inescapable and bloody surgical scene, will be remembered.

A classic in the genre.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Colin Smith TOP 500 REVIEWER on 31 Dec 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Having only recently watched this movie, and considering the fact that it was made half a century ago, its hardly surprising to learn of the revulsion felt by many viewers at the time, even now it remains a disturbing and unsettling film to watch, a brave step to take, a movie ahead of its time.

The story originates with Plastic Surgeon, Dr Gennesier (Pierre Brasseur) who's guilt at recklessly crashing his car which left his daughter, Christiane (played by Edith Scob) severely facially disfigured, turns him into a dangerous obsessive, who's sole aim is to restore her beauty at any cost.
Aided by loyal assistant, Louisa (Alida Valli), young women are lured to his home to become unwitting donors to his evil schemes.

The white mask that the delicate and fragile Christiane wears emphasises the emotions in her eyes, which is rather unsettling, she also moves quitely around her tiny world within the house, the gruesome "face removing" scene is followed by the harrowing scenes of the young victim's fate, which I found to be very moving.
The black and white photography in Georges Franju's movie merely adds to the haunting and disturbing atmosphere of the story, which is in turns obscenely cruel and amoral yet coldly beautiful, a bewitching fairytale of the darkest variety, a horror movie of real quality.

The widescreen picture quality is excellent, the movie is French language with optional English subtitles, and is 86 minutes in length approx.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Carl Rees on 20 Sep 2014
Format: DVD
Pushed back to a November release now? Is this a joke? First the release date was July, then September, now November.:/ If I could get away with it then I'd curse all the expletives under the sun. This is so frustrating. I've been excited about this release since I heard it was coming out back last Christmas & I'm getting really impatient now. This sucks!:( The five stars is because this film is awesome, but not for this infuriating wait for this BFI release.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Mr. D. Gumble on 13 Aug 2010
Format: DVD
When looking back over the years at the truly defining moments of the horror genre, one will generally encounter the usual titles; `Psycho', `Night of the Living Dead', `The Exorcist', `The Shining', `Halloween', etc. Each of these films has achieved enormous iconic status within popular culture as well as among horror fans, often the subject of parody and pastiche in comedy, TV and commercials. Even today, one is reminded of the terrifying `here's Johnny' moment from `The Shining' by Lenny Henry in the equally disturbing Premier Inn campaign. Yet many will be unaware of George Franju's 1959 cult classic `Eyes Without a Face', a film which has been criminally overlooked and forgotten since its release five decades ago. A film that is both mesmeric and disturbing in its tone and subject matter, it's hard to define why `Eyes Without a Face' has missed out on the notoriety and success of these other classic titles.

The film is centred on Dr Genessier, a crazed surgeon obsessed with trying to find a new face for his disfigured daughter Christiane, following a car crash for which he was responsible. His attempts to do so involve the kidnapping of young women and the subsequent removal of their face. Meanwhile, Christiane is forced to wear a white, featureless mask to cover her horrendous facial injuries, giving her a haunting, ghostly presence. This darkly sinister premise makes for deeply suspenseful viewing, creating enough tension to easily rival many of those famous horror classics.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By technoguy VINE VOICE on 24 May 2009
Format: DVD
Eyes Without a Face is as precise as it's title suggests.We are in a world of masks and false identities.We are in a macabre,but realistic world where horror and the fantasical operate in `homeopathic doses'. Having to get around the censorship of Germany,France,England and Italy, Franju's chilly but lyrical film becomes poetic in his escewal of Grand Guignol gestures and colour, weilding a mean scalpel. The music is both jaunty and by turns melancholic, carnivalesque and internal.Dr.Genessier is no mad scientist,he gives lectures about the future of transplanting to respectable audiences, who acclaim his worth and genius,and he is a plastic surgeon. However he loves his daughter and feels guilty because he has disfigured her face in a road accident,and must make amends by getting his assistant,Louise(Valli)to pick up young student women of similar facial structure.Once back he drugs them and while they are unconscious, he removes the skin off their face to transplant onto Christiane, his daughter.

Meanwhile, she mopes behind a white porcelaine-like mask,shut away from the world. Like a creepy fairy-tale princess awaiting release.She is the dominant centre of the film,seeming to call forth desperate measures from her father,whereas he is the active centre.There is a ghastly cost to all this:the disposing of dead bodies in rivers or underground vaults,by his loyal robotic assistant-lover,Louise.Also,after a few days the transplants are rejected and the graft rots.The same cycle is repeated again.The pivotal centre of the film is when Genessier starts to sketch out on a guinea-pig's face with a pencil, then using his scalpel proceeds to cut along the pencilled line, with blood coming out all the way along.
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