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Les Yeux sans Visage (1960)

Horror | 95 minutes
3,55 200 votes

Genre: Horror / Drama

Duration: 95 minuten

Alternative titles: Eyes without a Face / The Horror Chamber of Dr. Faustus / House of Dr. Rasanoff

Country: France / Italy

Directed by: Georges Franju

Stars: Pierre Brasseur, Edith Scob and Alida Valli

IMDb score: 7,6 (35.038)

Releasedate: 11 January 1960

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Les Yeux sans Visage plot

"Beautiful women were the victims of his fiendish facials."

A brilliant plastic surgeon tries to repair his daughter's face after a car accident. Together with his assistant, he kidnaps young women and removes pieces from their faces to transfer their beauty to his mutilated daughter. The 'donors' naturally panic and some would rather commit suicide than go through life 'faceless'.

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Full Cast & Crew

Actors and actresses

Doctor Génessier

Christiane Génessier

Inspector Parot

Paulette Mérodon

Man from the Pond

Dr. Lherminier

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avatar van Chainsaw

Chainsaw

  • 8580 messages
  • 3418 votes

Reminds me a lot of Hellraiser and Hellbound. Les Yeux sans Visage is intriguing and extremely atmospheric, but it is also immediately noticeable that the film is remarkably slow. Sometimes effective, but sometimes we see characters simply walking up endless stairs or walking from house A to house B. That is then less necessary. What is very exciting is the suggestion and the mystery; from the daughter's face to only hearing dogs bark for a long time; less really is more in some cases. In addition, if Georges Franju does show a lot - the famous operation scene - then it is even more shocking. I can certainly imagine that people were quite shocked by those images at the time. Les Yeux sans Visage also contains a series of beautiful images. Towards the third half there are some scenes that deviate a bit from the main plot - the part with the police officers doesn't really come into the picture and that segment with the little boy didn't seem very necessary to me either. Finally, it quickly starts to get laughable when that Beetle comes back into the picture and that carnival music starts to play.

3.5 stars.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original

avatar van Roger Thornhill

Roger Thornhill

  • 5579 messages
  • 2201 votes

Somewhere between horror and an oppressive dream, not really scary but with an intoxicating and at times almost depressing atmosphere (in short, horror as I prefer it), and with a remarkably nasty surgery scene; given the time the film was made I expected the camera to look away, but nothing of the sort. Edith Scob of course steals the show with her mask, her long neck and her angelic face, but the appearance of Pierre Brasseur made an impression on me: from the few other films I know of him (including [i]Les enfants du paradis[ /i]) I remember him as a distinguished or friendly older gentleman, but here a beard, glasses and a stern expression are enough to transform him into a cold dictator. A man of many faces.

As seen on a "dual format edition" (Blu-ray + DVD) from the British Film Institute with English subtitles, with on the Blu-ray a transfer as sharp as Doctor Génessier's scalpel, and many extras: an informative audio commentary by Tim Lucas, two short films by Franju (14 and 19 minutes respectively), an interview with Edith Scob (Christiane in the film, 17 minutes), and a documentary about Franju and his working method for this film (46 minutes). A beautiful edition.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original

avatar van Bobbejaantje

Bobbejaantje

  • 1839 messages
  • 1826 votes

At release they didn't know what to do with it. It was first presented as an arthouse film, but that audience could not appreciate the hard images and then they just gave it the horror label. In any case, from start to finish a fascinating viewing piece with excellent direction and beautiful B&W photography. I myself was surprised by the 'in your face content' (no pun) of the face transplant. A progressive film for its time. It clearly does not fall into the category of horror that Hollywood was doing. It's more about 'poetic horror', a nice description I read somewhere. The only downside I found at times was Maurice Jarre's score. A talented composer, but certain pieces evoked more the atmosphere of the horse mill at the fair than what was going on on the screen. Unless a surrealist approach was the aim. But in general it was fine with the (uncomfortable) atmosphere, especially thanks to the class visual elaboration and acting.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original