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X:The Man With the X Ray Eyes [DVD] [1963] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

Ray Milland , Diana Van der Vlis , Roger Corman    DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 22.94
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Region 1 encoding (requires a North American or multi-region DVD player and NTSC compatible TV. More about DVD formats.)

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Product details

  • Actors: Ray Milland, Diana Van der Vlis, Harold J. Stone, John Hoyt, Don Rickles
  • Directors: Roger Corman
  • Writers: Ray Russell, Robert Dillon
  • Producers: Roger Corman, Bartlett A. Carre, James H. Nicholson, Samuel Z. Arkoff
  • Format: NTSC, Closed-captioned, Colour, Anamorphic
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: 5 Jun 2001
  • Run Time: 79 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005AUK1
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 141,865 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Corman delivers again 2 Nov 2009
After the underwhelming "The Premature Burial", "X", the second Roger Corman-Ray Milland collaboration, really delivers, largely because Milland is better cast. In fact, in his autobiography he rated it as one of only two worthwhile films he made out of nearly 100 in a long career, the other being "The Long Weekend".

As Corman points out in an exceptionally good "extra" director's commentary, after the war obsessive scientists were always seen as Bad, and it was only after Man went into space that the idea of the Good Scientist became current again. Dr. James Xavier wants X-ray vision purely to be able to cure people, but as he gets more involved in taking the drug which gives him the power, it becomes literally blinding. On the run for accidentally killing a collaborator, he is reduced to being part of a freakshow, and ends up after a hair-raising chase in an evangelical tent which provides the disturbing, almost apocalyptic ending.

The special effects are almost laughably cheap, mainly created by irises and dissolves, with some basic film processing thrown in. However, it doesn't matter at all, because we have swallowed the McGuffin about how this vision is possible. And that's what the audience wants to see - X-ray vision. We buy it wholesale.

This is on one level a simple science fiction story following the Dr Frankenstein tradition, except the monster is himself. But it is also a film about drugs (LSD was gradually coming onto the market in 1963, and Corman originally wanted to do an explicit movie about that). And in a curious way it becomes a religious movie too, about the possibility of either becoming or seeing God.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Creepy beyond belief! 7 July 2008
i'll make this short and sweet - buy it but don't watch it alone - this is one of the creepiest movies ever and the final scene has stayed with me for years! horrible but a must have for your horror collection. if thine eye offends thee...THEN PLUCK IT OUT!!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Matthew 5:29 27 Dec 2003
By bernie VINE VOICE
The same director (Roger Corman) that brought you "Attack of the Giant Crab Monsters" (1957) now brings you to new depths of depravity. Employing such veteran actors as Ray Milland "The Thing with Two Heads" (1972) and the latest scientific speculation, he has brought you "X - The Man with the X-Ray Eyes" (1963). The message is so important that it was transferred to DVD.

Moderation in all things. What happens if you get too much of a good thing?

Dr. James Xavier finds out what it is like going beyond underwear. And into the mysteries of life. His creation of drops that let you see on a new plane can be dangerous. The more he drops the more he sees.

The visual effects are worth the movie alone. Just look what happened when he was monkeying around?

Where will this all end?
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a real classic 8 Mar 2009
I saw this film when I was 8 years old and it scared the hell out of me. Watching it decades later as an adult I found it less scary but far more...disturbing.

This is one of those exceptional b-movies of the era that punches way above its weight and has survived the long test of time remarkably well. The reason is that beyond the obvious shock and horror of the film's plot, there is a sub-text that is thought-provoking and chilling.

It's also made memorable by the special effects which - despite their obvious limits - are used ingeniously and with deliberate wit.

It belongs right up the there with sci/fi-horror classics like The Incredible Shrinking Man and The Village Of The Damned.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  33 reviews
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "My dear friend, only the gods see everything." 16 Mar 2005
By cookieman108 - Published on
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
In X - The Man with the X-Ray Eyes (1963) Dr. James Xavier, played by Ray Milland, desires the ability to `access the entire wavelength spectrum' so that he may see what no one else can...what male hasn't had that dream? Seriously, if you ever read a comic book, there was always an advertisement, usually between ads for Wildroot hair tonic, how to become a muscle man, or an offer for real Texas rattlesnake eggs, that touted `X-Ray Glasses' featuring a crudely drawn illustration of a guy wearing said glasses and not only having the ability to see the bones in his hand, but also being able to see through a woman's clothes...and I bet a great deal of them were sold, not because they actually worked (most of us, on some level, knew they wouldn't), but on the very slight possibility that they might. Produced and directed by Roger Corman (Pit and the Pendulum, The Masque of the Red Death), the film stars Oscar winner Ray Milland (The Lost Weekend, The Big Clock). Also appearing is Diana Van der Vlis (The Girl in Black Stockings), Harold Stone (Spartacus), John Hoyt (Attack of the Puppet People), and Don `Mr. Warmth' Rickles (Beach Blanket Bingo, Kelly's Heroes).

As I already mentioned, Milland plays Dr. James Xavier, a man with an obsession. You see, as humans, we only see about ten percent of what's actually out there, and he wants more (greedy bastich). During his research he develops the X formula, which in experiments allows a monkey to see through cardboard, but has a curious side effect of death...Xavier chalks this up to the monkeys minuscule brain not being able to comprehend what it sees, thus shutting down and causing the demise, but humans are smarter than monkeys, so shouldn't have the same problem, right? Xavier begins experiments on himself, and finds success, but not without a price. After the accidental death of a colleague (or murder, however you want to look at it), Xavier is forced to take a hasty leave, joining a carnival, calling himself Mentallo, using his newfound ability to scrounge a few bucks by impressing the rubes, and donning sunglasses much like those Terminator glasses your grandmother wears. This leads to his involvement with a rather odious carnie and small time hustler named Crane (Rickles), who convinces Xavier to open an inner city clinic and earn even bigger bucks by `healing' the poor. Things start out relatively well, but that changes as this new venture eventually falls apart, so what's next? Well, if you have X-ray vision and need a lot of dough, where would you go? Las Vegas? Sounds like a plan, but initial success is yet again tainted by dismal failure, and soon Xavier is on the run again...oh yeah, did I mention the effects of his continual use of the X formula results in cumulative effects?

In case you're wondering if there are any scenes where Xavier sees through women's clothes, yes there is, as at one point he is talked into going to a swinging party, featuring all kinds of comely, young females. Do we get to see what he sees? Kind of, as we see a bunch of naked backs and legs, but that's about was oddly creepy as Milland presents such a intense and focused character throughout the story, but for a few moments we see a lascivious side that's counteracts the serious nature of the film and his character...speaking of oddly creepy, check out a mature Milland (he was in his mid 50's at the time) frugging it up at the's a brief scene, but one that will be stuck in my minds eye for quite some time. Milland does quite a good job here (acting, not dancing), the scientist ultimately punished by his own arrogance, but one can't help feel an overall sense of sadness in that such an accomplished actor was now resigned to appearing in somewhat schlocky material as this...and it got progressively worse, with such features as Frogs (1972), The Thing with Two Heads (1972), and The Attic (1979) looming in his future. Oh well, work is work, I suppose...the rest of the cast is rather bland, except for Rickles, who gets in a few good zingers at some carnival patrons expense. While this is certainly an inexpensive feature, Corman generally always, in my opinion, seemed to be able to get the most for his money in terms of his films having better production values than expected. The direction is very good, as the pacing is quick (the running time is a minimal 79 minutes). Probably the most interesting aspect of the story is the notion that the main characters power of sight keeps developing (that whole cumulative effect I spoke of earlier). This presents the idea that eventually the characters ability will extend ad infinitum, allowing one to speculate that eventually he'll be able to see into the very core of the universe, and depending on your beliefs, possibly even the Creator himself. The special effects are not particularly spectacular, but they worked for me, and I'm sure at the time they probably appeared quite trippy and psychotropic (check out the opening scenes featuring bloody eyeballs). There are rumors that the ending provided here was actually shortened, that Milland's character had one more line, and the abrupt ending of the film seems to support this, but Corman has maintained this wasn't true. Regardless if this is true or not, it's still a memorable ending.

The wide screen anamorphic (1.85:1) presentation on this DVD from MGM looks very clean and sharp, and the Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono audio comes through clearly. There are a couple of special features including the original 5-minute theatrical prologue that provides the audience an introduction to the five senses (when they started talking about the sense of taste, watch for some kid massacring an ice cream cone), a running audio commentary track with Roger Corman, and an original theatrical trailer.

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cool contact lenses! 9 Feb 2002
By Rod Labbe - Published on
Ray Milland's movie career took an interesting turn in the early 1960's...he signed on to do three films for American International Pictures, an outfit far removed from the majors like Paramount and 20th Century Fox. At the time, AIP was well-known for cranking out black and white cheapie fliks for the teenage matinee crowd, stuff like "The Day the World Ended" and "The She Creature." By 1963, when "The Man With the X-Ray Eyes" was released, AIP was enlarging their budgets by adding color, better sets, and employing good writers (Richard Matheson, Charles Beaumont) and actors (Vincent Price, Hazel Court, Peter Lorre, Basil Rathbone, Karloff). Milland's involvement was one more step up the "prestige" ladder for AIP. Mr. Milland had won an Academy Award (Best Actor, "The Lost Weekend" 1945) and was a touch of Hollywood royalty that AIP would not let go unexploited. The first film he did under their banner was "The Premature Burial," directed by Roger Corman. Then came "Man With the X-Ray Eyes," an interesting and philosophical sci-fi thriller. It contains an excellent Milland performance as "Dr. Xavier," who concocts a serum that allows him to see through any object. Eventually, overuse of the drops results in the doctor being able to see into Infinity...and what he finds there is enough to drive anyone insane (or is it? Check out the film!). Production values are good, if a little "TV-like," and director Corman keeps things moving at a quick pace. Mention should be made of Don Rickles (?!) contribution as a sleazy carnival hustler--he's truly obnoxious and completely believable! Not to mention surprisingly skinny! I loved the film's ending, and I, too, heard the legend about the cut line. Corman, in a commentary, remarks on it, giving us the full scoop on whether the scene was ever filmed. Even without this coda, the conclusion is a shocker! I love all of MGM's Midnite Movies--the quality of their presentation is beyond criticism, as far as I'm concerned. Beautiful prints, rich, vibrant colors, with great extras! What more could you ask for, especially at such a bargain price! Snatch "The Man With the X-Ray Eyes," pronto! And I'm keeping my fingers crossed that "Premature Burial" and Milland's third AIP feature--"Panic in Year )"--will soon make it to DVD!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3 stars ain't bad for a B-movie 16 Oct 2001
By Babytoxie - Published on
I feel that a 3-star rating for "X" says a lot, actually. Of all the titles on MGM's Midnite Movies roster, it certainly has the most entertaining and though-provoking story. Surely every person at one point has fantasized about being able to fly, being invisible, having x-ray vision, etc., but what would really happen if you were granted one of these powers? And are you certain you could control it? Here's your answer. Corman's direction is not too shabby - although some of the dialogue is extremely stilted, the cast gets through it with barely a scratch. I've seen Ray Milland in some real stinkers, but his acting skills have never been in question. While he plays a stuffy doctor very well, this film has some humorous moments where his expression or tone of voice speaks volumes... cocktail parties never looked so fun.
The special effects, for the year and the limited budget, are not that bad. They did an acceptable job of conveying what Dr. Xavier was seeing, and the physical transformation of his eyes in the last half of the film is well-done. It's a shame that the movie didn't go into more detail on the "object" (no spoilers here!) that he sees at the limits of his vision. That was a very interesting plot point and could have provided even more weirdness.
As a long-time fan of The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits, I certainly recommend this film. The only problem I have with it is the ending. I truly want to believe that the rumor regarding the deleted final line of dialogue is true. Even if it's not, I think Corman and MGM should have played along and tacked on a dub during the fade-out, especially for this DVD edition. The ending, as it is, is chilling but lacking, and it's too abrupt. Adding the infamous deleted line would add an entirely different scope to this film.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining 1960s-era Allegory a la Roger Corman 10 Oct 2001
By Michael R Gates - Published on
If you take X: THE MAN WITH X-RAY EYES literally, you probably won't like it. Scientific implausibility, a melodramatic plot, and histrionics from some minor players will turn off viewers who don't have the ability to see beyond the reflective surface of a movie script. However, if you're the kind of viewer who loves to ride through a film looking for hidden messages, director Roger Corman takes you on one hell of a trip.
Disguised as a low-budget sci-fi thriller about a medical doctor who discovers the secret to x-ray vision and consequently spirals into madness, X: THE MAN WITH X-RAY EYES is really a social allegory with two possible interpretations. First, it is a comment on how an ethically and morally unfettered quest for knowledge can lead to personal and professional damnation. And secondly, it is a warning about how irresponsible drug use--even in the quest for knowledge or self-enlightenment--is ultimately self-destructive. (In the commentary that is provided as one of the bonus features on the DVD version, Corman reveals that his original concept for this film did not revolve around a medical doctor involved in risky research, but instead centered on a jazz musician who develops x-ray vision via the use of illicit drugs.)
The acting in this film is quite adequate. Ray Milland turns in a very affecting performance as Dr. James Xavier, a medical researcher obsessed with learning how to chemically enhance the range of human vision (both optical vision and intellectual vision). At times his acting is reminiscent of Colin Clive's in 1931's FRANKENSTEIN--which is interesting since the main plot device in both movies is a medically and scientifically improbable procedure that ultimately becomes the springboard for social allegory--and he is able to evoke that same sort of pathos that makes the audience care about a character in spite of the character's culpability for his own fate. Diana Van der Vlis also does a nice job portraying Dr. Diane Fairfax, Xavier's associate and implied love interest, and caustic comedian Don Rickles gives an interesting, though at times histrionic, performance as a carnie. Some of the minor players aren't as strong, but in some ways this only adds to the sublime surrealism of the film.
The special effects are, as in many Corman productions from the 1960s, obviously low-budget, but they serve their purpose adequately enough. Besides, flashy FX would only be an upstaging nuisance anyway, as the real star of this show is the allegorical subtext. Roger Corman is a legendary director because he knows how to overcome obstacles such as a lack of funds and still shoot an engaging picture. And the master doesn't let down his league of horror fans, either, delivering an ending that is both gruesomely shocking and a bit gory. (In the DVD's bonus commentary, Corman calls the ending "low-budget Greek tragedy").
Admittedly, parts of X: THE MAN WITH X-RAY EYES are dated. But these are limited mainly to incidental details such as clothing and hairstyles. If you want to watch a riveting horror movie that has been artfully and lovingly crafted, you usually can't go wrong with one of the classic Roger Corman flicks. And this film is a case in point.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good solid performance from Ray Milland , creepy 31 Oct 2005
By A C SHIELDS - Published on
The best thing about this film is the question of what would happen if we each had a great power . How would we personally use it and what would be its effect on us morally ?

One can of course take this idea further , but for now I'm happy to let the film do that .

This may be a B picture and therefore possibly ignored or forgotten , but MGM has done the right thing by making it available again .

As the film goes on , the viewer sees the consequences of a scientific discovery . You should see this film if you are a horror fan or are new to the genre and only beginning to discover the classics of this type .

The ending will stay with you .
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