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Eyes Without a Face (The Criterion Collection)

Georges Hubert , Nicole Ladmiral , Georges Franju    Unrated   DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
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Special Features

BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES � New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack � New high-definition digital restoration of Blood of the Beasts, Georges Franju�s 1949 documentary about the slaughterhouses of Paris � Archival interviews with Franju on horror, cinema, and the making of Blood of the Beasts � New interview with actor Edith Scob � Excerpts from Les grand-p�res du crime, a 1985 documentary about Eyes Without a Face writers Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac � Trailers � PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by novelist Patrick McGrath and film historian David Kalat

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Of Dogs and Doves Feb. 3 2011
By David M. Goldberg TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Georges Franju is apparently best known for his contributions to French Documentary Cinema. An impressive example is provided by "Blood of the Beasts" that forms a most welcome extra to this darkly poetic thriller that I have seen once before at a film art-house. Other extras include an insightful interview with the Director himself on the true nature of "horror", and an absorbing dialogue between Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac from whose collaboration the movie screenplay derives, as did the better known Diabolique (Clouzot) and Vertigo (Hitchcock). Franju's style is more restrained than those of the latter two directors, and the gentle musical accompaniment by Maurice Jarres is discreetly employed; the impact of the terrifying events is enhanced by the long silences and sparse dialogue that generally accompany them. In fact, this film at times has the feel of a silent movie, a significant contribution to the eeriness that haunts it and its main protagonists: Pierre Brasseur as the introverted and gifted plastic surgeon (Dr Genessier), unrecognizably the generous and exhuberant Frederic Lemaitre of LES ENFANTS DU PARADIS; Alida Valli (Harry Lime's grieving lover from THE THIRD MAN) as his secretary and accomplice Louise, ever-grateful for the brilliant facial reconstruction that restored her shattered life; and Edith Scob as his daughter Christiane, the Eyes Without a Face, whose devastating appearance ( only rarely revealed behind a plastic mask) is the result of a motor accident while her reckless father was at the wheel, for which she will never forgive him and he will never forgive himself.

The plot focuses upon the abduction, operation, and disposition of several near look-alikes in an endeavour by Genessier to graft a replacement face for his daughter.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Franju where are you? Dec 2 2003
Format:VHS Tape
But what about Georges Franju? What do we know about him and what other films has he made other than "Eyes Without a Face?" I know about, but haven't seen, his ground-breaking documentary "Blood of Beasts" ("Sang des Betes"). I actually own a copy of another film he made called "Judex" which is totally different than either of these. And it is wonderful also.I can't believe he only made three films.Where are the others?
"Eyes Without a Face" is a masterpiece of horror because it goes to the heart of what we fear most-loss of our looks and the pathetic preoccupation with staying young and looking like the magazines and advertisers tell us to. The film is sad because the doctor can't do anything physical to help his daughter.All his skill is useless in the face of her disfigurement. Trying to change fate is useless, learning to live with it is not.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Little Masterpiece April 11 2002
Format:VHS Tape
Though this is admittedly a small scale, low-budget work, this exceptionally beautiful film is one of my favorites because there are few films, of whatever scope, that succeed in creating real depth almost purely by the evocative power of their images
and Les Yeux sans Visage (Eye Without A Face) does this.
Edith Scob's Christiane is one of the most truly dream-like, forlornly resonating, hauntingly poetic images in the history of cinema. In this it is comparable to Lon Chaney Sr.'s Quazimodo and John Hurt's Elephant Man. There is a purity in her image that penetrates deeply into the viewer and summons up strong emotions.
The plot of this film may seem at first to be merely typical, hackneyed, horror material, but its theme of blind and domineering science running rampant over the feelings and lives of both animals and people was a subject that the director, Georges Franju, took very seriously. The last frames of this film, with the appropriately horrid death of the amoral scientest and then the masked Christiane freeing the animals and silently drifting away into the night, are a serious statement created purely in images by one of the world's most underrated
director's. A wonderful film. Highly recommended
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Portent of Movies to Come March 7 2002
Format:VHS Tape
This startling work combines the plot of a splatter movie with the cold, composed style of 1950's Stanley Kubrick. You can sense in it the French appreciation of Poe, Cornell Woolrich, and the Gothic. It has many touches of dark humor and irony that complement the ominous, poetic visual style. Strange moments of anguished emotion keep breaking through the tightly constructed surface of the film. It also anticipates the more graphic horror films to come in the future. The famous "operation" scene will make your skin crawl even after 40 years. The real subject is, of course, our fetishization of female beauty, and what that dehumanization really costs. The figure of a ruthless, murderous doctor performing obscene medical experiments also must have had special relevance to a France that had experienced the terrors of German occupation during World War II. Maurice Jarre's music is memorably spooky. You won't soon forget this one.
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