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Criterion Collection: Eyes Without a Face [DVD] [1960] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

4.6 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Unrated (US MPAA rating. See details.)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002V7O0Q
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 113,740 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: DVD
Eyes Without A Face is a classic horror film, and a very strange experience. It is a must-see for all fans of the genre ... It is difficult to evaluate it fairly, or to speak about it without revealing too much, but it is about horrible forced skin grafts involving the removal of the whole face, and, behind this, about guilt and paternal love, and how it can go to monstrous lengths. Pierre Brasseur is fantastic in the role of the surgeon, giving it a depth you don't usually find in horror. This is the way it shows him to be concerned so much with making good his error, and restoring his daughter to a state where she can live, that the lives of other girls sacrificed to this end no longer seem to matter to him. In a way the film could be said to be about this tragic flaw in humanity - that many people no doubt might be capable of making a similar distinction. It has always struck me as a baleful side of everything to do with families - that they care for their own, in many cases, and others can go hang ... The comic touches are more common in horror than this sharpness of insight, but they are uncommonly fine, one might say, often involving Alida Valli, who plays a kind of demented sidekick to the deranged doctor. Her casting is also perfect, as is Edith Scob as the ethereal daughter, who spends much of the film wearing a mask. The film seems to be a comment on masks as well - which I have always found unnerving at the best of times - and how identity is tied up with one's face.Read more ›
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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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By Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 20 Nov. 2011
Format: DVD
French black and white, Gothic horror, similar to "Rebecca" in style, atmosphere and artistic direction.

The central themes rely on the battle between wanting to inhabit emotions battling against the impact of an emotional erasure. Transplanted to the characters the theme is played out in the battle between the scientist who wants to "save" his daughter, via his narcissism. To do this he wants to destroy other fathers daughters, an absence of empathy. Instead he views the world as his laboratory. Because within "science" - a discipline that prides itself upon emotional erasure, the ends forever justifies his means. "Father" wants to control nature just as they do in real life, and if they are not fathers they are women immersed within a "masculine protest."

A dominant theme ripples throughout the film. It was the father's will to power which destroyed his daughter as his erratic driving drove her disfigured her beauty. Hints at another dimension to his act as a savior. So he states he wants to rebuild her. Meanwhile he has his loyal servant, a procuress, who entices young women into his dungeon where he incises their faces and transplants them.

A surgical procedure now finally perfected in the 21st, this film explores the ethics, as the scientist is not the hero, but like Frankenstein - the mad man; the serial killer aiming for the greater good based upon himself. Everyone is a pawn in his will to power. As a result the film raises a number of issues around sacrifice for the greater social interest. Realistically, only the dead can offer their skin, and as the film points out, they have to be freshly deceased, otherwise, necrotisis destroys their attributes.
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