Rent Eyes Without a Face (1960)

3.8 of 5 from 138 ratings
1h 30min
Rent Eyes Without a Face (aka Les yeux sans visage) Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
  • General info
  • Available formats
Synopsis:
Dr. Genessier (Pierre Brasseur) is a brilliant and obsessive plastic surgeon driven by the need to restore his daughter's (Edith Scob) disfigured face. He is aided in this quest by his loyal assistant (Alida Valli) who lures unwitting young women to the secret surgery in his secluded chateau.
Actors:
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Directors:
Producers:
Jules Borkon
Writers:
Jean Redon, Pierre Boileau, Thomas Narcejac, Claude Sautet
Aka:
Les yeux sans visage
Studio:
BFI Video
Genres:
Classics, Horror
Countries:
France, Classics, Horror
BBFC:
Release Date:
24/08/2015
Run Time:
90 minutes
Languages:
French
Subtitles:
English
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.66:1
Colour:
B & W
Bonus:
  • Monsieur et Madame Curie (Georges Franju, 1953,14 mins): the life and work of the pioneering scientists, told through the words of Marie Curie
  • La Premiere nuit (Georges Franju, 1958,20 mins): a 10-year-old boy spends a night in the Metro
  • Les Fleurs maladives de Georges Franju (Pierre-Henri Gibert, 2009,50 mins): an overview of Georges Franju's career For Her Eyes Only - an interview with Edith Scob (L P Hugo, 2014,17 mins): Edith Scob talks about working with Franju
  • Audio commentary by film critic Tim Lucas of Video Watchdog
BBFC:
Release Date:
24/08/2015
Run Time:
90 minutes
Languages:
French
Subtitles:
English
Formats:
Pal
Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen 1.66:1
Colour:
B & W
BLU-RAY Regions:
B
Bonus:
  • Monsieur et Madame Curie (Georges Franju, 1953,14 mins): the life and work of the pioneering scientists, told through the words of Marie Curie
  • La Premiere nuit (Georges Franju, 1958,20 mins): a 10-year-old boy spends a night in the Metro
  • Les Fleurs maladives de Georges Franju (Pierre-Henri Gibert, 2009,50 mins): an overview of Georges Franju's career For Her Eyes Only - an interview with Edith Scob (L P Hugo, 2014,17 mins): Edith Scob talks about working with Franju
  • Audio commentary by film critic Tim Lucas of Video Watchdog

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Reviews (2) of Eyes Without a Face

Les yeux sans visage/Eyes Without a Face - Eyes Without a Face review by NP

Spoiler Alert
Updated 17/10/2019

What an incredible experience this is. A story that deals with such revulsion and bleak desperation emerges as a haunting thing of beauty. This is largely due to the performance of Edith Scob as the gracefully tragic Christiane, whose face is destroyed in a car crash caused by her father. She is condemned to flit through the prison her family home has become, equally imprisoned by the mask she wears to hide her ravaged features. The mask itself is simplicity itself, yet almost appears to emote at times – it is quite incredible how lifelike it can be in some scenes, and coldly sinister in others.

The music is a major factor in this film’s feelings of unease. Some scenes – such as Christiane visiting the latest ‘victim’ strapped down in her father’s surgery – are accompanied by nothing except the howls of the many guard-dogs caged outside. Other scenes, including the story’s opening, are scored with a deceptively jolly carnival suite. This deeply inappropriate music could rob the film of any horror atmospherics, instead it enhances the feeling of perverse unease.

Filmed with slow deliberation, fitting for a story involving the intricacies of surgery, the style is reminiscent of other films of the time, notably Hitchcock’s Psycho (another major horror contribution from 1960). It also brings to mind the more recent horror shocker The Human Centipede, which caused a similar reaction in cinemas in 2009.

Two scenes stand out as being remarkably, repulsively powerful. One is the unflinching sequence involving the removal of a human face, and other is the gruesome attack on Christiane’s father, Doctor Genessier (Pierre Brasseur), by the dogs – ironically rendering his face to pulp too.

As for Christiance’s fate – who knows? She frees the dogs, and drifts off into the night like a ghostly apparition, framed by the flitting of the pet doves she has also freed. We can only imagine what becomes of her – throughout, she has longed for death, sickened by her father’s attempts to save her face, so her future is bleak. We will have to make up our minds.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

Dull and silly - Eyes Without a Face review by fm

Spoiler Alert
21/02/2019

This is a sorry little period piece which may say something about contemporary worries about transplants but there's little else to hold the attention. A turkey that is best forgotten except by the most dedicated B-movie fan.

0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.

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