IMDb > Fiend Without a Face (1958)
Fiend Without a Face
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Fiend Without a Face (1958) More at IMDbPro »


Overview

User Rating:
6.3/10   2,111 votes »
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Down 4% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Herbert J. Leder (screenplay)
Amelia Reynolds Long (original story "The Thought Monster")
Contact:
View company contact information for Fiend Without a Face on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
December 1958 (UK) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
New Horrors! Mad Science Spawns Evil Fiends! ...Taking form before your horrified eyes!
Plot:
Invisible atomic monsters attack a U.S. Armed Forces base and the local residents. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
A film with brains... See more (59 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Marshall Thompson ... Maj. Cummings
Kynaston Reeves ... Prof. R.E. Walgate
Kim Parker ... Barbara Griselle
Stanley Maxted ... Col. Butler
Terry Kilburn ... Capt. Al Chester (as Terence Kilburn)
James Dyrenforth ... Mayor
Robert MacKenzie ... Const. Gibbons
Peter Madden ... Dr. Bradley
Gil Winfield ... Dr. Warren
Michael Balfour ... Sgt. Kasper
Launce Maraschal ... Melville
Meadows White ... Ben Adams (as R. Meadows White)
E. Kerrigan Prescott ... Atomic Engineer (as Kerrigan Prescott)
Lala Lloyd ... Amelia Adams
Shane Cordell ... Nurse
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sheldon Allan ... Sentry (uncredited)
Alexander Archdale ... Minister (uncredited)
Tom Watson ... Technical Sergeant (uncredited)
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Directed by
Arthur Crabtree 
 
Writing credits
Herbert J. Leder (screenplay)

Amelia Reynolds Long (original story "The Thought Monster")

Produced by
John Croydon .... producer
Richard Gordon .... executive producer (uncredited)
Ronald Kinnoch .... co-producer (uncredited)
Charles F. Vetter .... executive producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Buxton Orr 
 
Cinematography by
Lionel Banes (lighting cameraman)
 
Film Editing by
Richard Q. McNaughton  (as R.Q. McNaughton)
 
Makeup Department
Barbara Barnard .... hairdressing
Jim Hydes .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Ronald Kinnoch .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Douglas Hickox .... assistant director
 
Art Department
John Elphick .... set designer
 
Sound Department
Peter Davies .... sound recordist
Terry Poulton .... dubbing editor
 
Special Effects by
Peter Neilson .... special effects
Flo Nordhoff .... special effects (as Ruppel & Nordhoff)
Karl-Ludwig Ruppel .... special effects (as Ruppel & Nordhoff)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Martin Curtis .... photographer: second unit
Leo Rogers .... camera operator
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Anna Duse .... dress supervisor
 
Music Department
Frederick Lewis .... conductor (as Frederic Lewis)
 
Other crew
Hazel Swift .... continuity
 
Crew believed to be complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
USA:74 min | UK:75 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound Recording)
Certification:
Australia:PG | Canada:G (Quebec) | Finland:K-16 | Germany:12 (re-rating) | Iceland:12 | Netherlands:18 (original rating) (1958) | Sweden:(Banned) | UK:X (original rating) (passed with cuts) | UK:PG (re-rating) | USA:Approved | USA:Not Rated | West Germany:18
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
In an interview, star Marshall Thompson recalled that director Arthur Crabtree didn't really want to direct the film--he thought sci-fi was "beneath" him--and often didn't show up for work. Eventually, according to Thompson, Crabtree walked off the picture, and Thompson himself finished directing it.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: Capt. Chester offers Maj. Cummings a cigarette, even though the Major already has a lit one in the ashtray.See more »
Quotes:
Prof. R. E. Walgate:What have I unleashed?See more »

FAQ

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22 out of 32 people found the following review useful.
A film with brains..., 29 November 2004
Author: Jason Forestein (jay4stein79@yahoo.com) from somerville, ma

To start off in a horribly clicheed manner, if you can't say anything nice, you're not supposed to say anything at all. Considering that this Fiend Without A Face came about in a decade when sci-fi was generally considered grade-Z clap trap, one would assume that I'd not have anything polite to discuss in regards to this film. Well, then again, maybe you wouldn't think that - Fiend is, after all, on Criterion, a bastion of intelligent film-making. So maybe, just maybe, Fiend Without A Face is an unjustly maligned masterpiece - a brilliant satirical look at human faults and foibles allegorized through a tale of malevolent brain-beasts.

I dare say, Fiend Without A Face falls somewhere in between. It's not schlock, nor is it masterful. It's a decent idea turned into a decent story (which someone had the foresight to save by not including the romantic subplot) acted by all right actors and directed with a steady hand. It's not Ed Wood; it certainly isn't Welles either.

There are some beautiful shots, to be sure (the establishing shots of the air-force base and some of the images of a jet's trail are gorgeous), and solid acting. On the whole, though, Fiend Without a Face is simply a well-done sci-fi/horror amalgamation and does not necessarily deserve the full, Criterion treatment.

Yes, the idea that atomic energy's greatest harm to mankind lies within our own psyches is interesting, but it's not as interesting as the paranoia of conformism that drove Body Snatchers. Yes, the acting is decent, but it's not as solid as the work done by a young Steve McQueen in the Blob. Fiend Without A Face is a movie that should not be forgotten, but it's also a film that should not be elevated to the level of greatness (which in some ways a Criterion edition somehow does).

That said, if you have a passing interest in horror or sci-fi, or the 1950s, you will enjoy this film (it's short, sweet, and very much to the point). Again, it's a well-made film and deserves to be seen; it's not, though, one of the greatest films of the science-fiction genre.

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