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Dr. James Xavier is a world renowned scientist experimenting with human eyesight. He devises a drug, that when applied to the eyes, enables the user to see beyond the normal realm of our sight (ultraviolet rays etc.) it also gives the user the power to see through objects. Xavier tests this drug on himself, when his funding is cut off. As he continues to test the drug on himself, Xavier begins to see, not only through walls and clothes, but through the very fabric of reality! Written by
In the hospital, Dr. Xavier sees through bandages, but sees his friends dressed. See more »
Dr. Diane Fairfax:
What do you see?
Dr. James Xavier:
The city... as if it were unborn. Rising into the sky with fingers of metal, limbs without flesh, girders without stone. Signs hanging without support. Wires dipping and swaying without poles. A city unborn. Flesh dissolved in an acid of light. A city of the dead.
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The sad thing about the film X is that it was 40 years ahead of its time. Roger Corman should have done this or even redone this film in the age of computer graphics. Maybe at a major studio perhaps.
But a major studio would never have taken a chance on a film like this. A science fiction movie without any horrific monsters or buckets of blood and gore, the moguls would reason who would want to see that? X could only be done at American-International Pictures and be done only with someone of the imagination of Roger Corman.
Ray Milland as Dr. James Xavier is a research scientist doing work in the field of vision. Dr. Frankenstein only wanted to bring life back from the dead. Milland wants to improve vision so that we see with the eye of God.
He develops a serum based on hormones and enzymes and you apply to the eyes. Milland sees things more clearly, but as was said in a film some thirty years after X, he can't handle the truth.
After accidentally killing a colleague friend in Harold J. Stone, Milland goes underground still continuing his experiments and working first at a carnival and then at a diagnostic/healer under the tutelage of Don Rickles. All the while colleague Diana Van Der Vlis is looking for him because guilty or not of the homicide of their friend Stone, Van Der Vlis believes in Milland and his work.
The climax of this film which takes place in a tent revival meeting is a sudden death one and unforgettable. Let's just say there are no good choices or fates left for Milland. And he's been given a clarity far beyond what any of these people in that tent can comprehend.
Don Rickles will surprise many with his performance as this bottom feeding carnival hustler at how good he is. Actually he's not wrong in what he sees as a practical solution for all concerned, hiding Milland from the authorities, making money, and allowing him to continue his research. But no proper doctor wants a partner like Rickles. It's like Colin Clive teaming up with Dwight Frye. Also in a small role at the end of the film is John Dierkes as the small time evangelist with the tent show. He's also quite good.
X does ask some interesting questions, much like the original Frankenstein movie. This film really deserves a remake.
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