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Eyes Without a Face (The Criterion Collection)

4.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Today Only: "Mad Max Anthology (4 Film Collection) [Blu-ray] (Bilingual)" for $25.99
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Product Details

  • Actors: Georges Hubert, Nicole Ladmiral, Alfred Macquart, Maurice Griselle, André Brunier
  • Directors: Georges Franju
  • Writers: Georges Franju, Claude Sautet, Jean Redon, Pierre Boileau, Pierre Gascar
  • Producers: Jules Borkon
  • Format: Anamorphic, Black & White, Closed-captioned, DVD-Video, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Criterion
  • Release Date: Oct. 26 2004
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B0002V7O0Q
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #28,977 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

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 --This text refers to the Blu-ray edition.

Customer Reviews

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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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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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I had never seen this film before and thought I would try it solely based on the customer reviews and AMAZON.com recommendations. I was not disappointed. This is a truly striking film. The movie is French with English subtitles which in no way detracts from its enjoyment for English-speaking viewers. The film is about a guilt-ridden plastic surgeon seeking suitable skin grafts for his horribly disfigured daughter. The daughter's disfigurement was due to an automobile accident that was the fault of her surgeon-father. The "doners" for the skin grafts are unsuspecting, attractive young women. I will leave you, the reader, to take it from there. The acting is superb. The photography is crisp black and white and is rather "artful" in a way. I am not the biggest fan of foreign horror films but this one is good and easy to follow. As far as the quality of the video itself, it is excellent. I obtained the new release from Kino Video and I have no complaints. The video was struck from an excellent quality print with only very minor and very infrequent "speckles of age". The videotape is quality superb and well worth the price.
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When I first saw this film as a young man, those releasing it in the States were obviously trying to cash in on the hard-core horror market so they released it under the unconcionable title "Horror Chamber of Dr. Faustus." This is probably why I laid my $.25 down and walked in to see it. I had a pentient for trashy horror flicks that I don't seem to have entirely outgrown. Anyway...it was obvious even to me that this was a cut above what I was used to seeing. Yes, there were some graphic scenes that would make most peoples' skin crawl, but it was more than that. As I was able to see it again some 40 or so years later I realized why. This movie gets under your skin with haunting imagery and sadness. The story, about a doctor who uses his assistant to kidnap young woumen so he can remove the skin from their faces in order to restore the face of his own daughter, actually started a small sub-genre in horror films. This is by far the best I've seen. The black and white cinematography is beautiful. Few films use light and shadow to the effect they are seen here. And when the daughter is first seen with her featureless, white mask it is one of the creepiest and saddest moments in film. These aren't shallow, evil people we're witnessing here. These are people driven by guilt and dedication, carrying out acts that make sense to them in their circumstances. The mechanics of the plot, particularly those involving the police, are somewhat pedestrian, but there is more than enough here to overcome the minor shortcomings. When the viewer reaches the end of the film, to see the shot of the daughter outside her house on a windswept night, few moments in cinema ever reach the same degree of power, horror and poetry as those caught here.
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