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The Man Who Could Cheat Death (1959)

Approved | | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi | June 1959 (USA)
A centenarian artist and scientist in 1890 Paris maintains his youth and health by periodically replacing a gland with that of a living person.

Director:

Terence Fisher

Writers:

Jimmy Sangster (screenplay), Barré Lyndon (play) (as Barre Lyndon)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Anton Diffring ... Dr. Georges Bonnet
Hazel Court ... Janine Du Bois
Christopher Lee ... Dr. Pierre Gerrard
Arnold Marlé Arnold Marlé ... Dr. Ludwig Weiss (as Arnold Marle)
Delphi Lawrence Delphi Lawrence ... Margo Philippe
Francis De Wolff Francis De Wolff ... Inspector Legris
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Storyline

A remake of "The Man in Half Moon Street" (1945) (qv.). Dr. Bonner plans to live forever through periodic gland transplants from younger, healthier human victims. Bonner looks about 40; he's really 104 years old. But people are starting to get suspicious, and he may not make 200. Written by Mike Rogers <MICHAELPEM@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

HIS HIDEOUS OBSESSION LED HIM TO COMMIT GHASTLY CRIMES OF PASSION AND VIOLENCE. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

June 1959 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Den Tod überlistet See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

GBP84,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Hammer Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ludwig Weiss was born in 1801. See more »

Goofs

The prostitute says to George to watch out for the 'dust bins' in the dark alley. The term is common to England but not France. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Ludwig Weiss: What is death that it should be feared so much?
See more »

Alternate Versions

Cut by the BBFC for its original cinema release and the cuts have persisted into all subsequent releases. The cuts were: . a famous shot of Hazel Court's breast as she briefly unfurls a wrap during a modeling session. Apparently shot for a continental version which may have been located in France but it hasn't made it to any DVD releases yet. It is also reported that Hammer Films retains a copy with the nude scene. . cuts to the climatic disintegration of Anton Diffring. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A fine film well worth watching.
30 August 2006 | by english-roseSee all my reviews

The Man Who Could Cheat Death is a remake of The Man In Half Moon Street, the stage version of which also starred Anton Diffring. The book of this title gives much more back-ground to the character of Georges Bonnet which explains his actions, but unfortunately is lost in the film version, but I think Anton Diffring conveys the torturous life of Bonnet very well. Although he appears cold and heartless he is in fact in desperate need of being loved in a secure relationship, but because of his past he cannot allow himself to achieve this. He is incapable of understanding why his actions are so wrong, and this makes him a vulnerable character despite his obvious intelligence, success and wealth and in the end invokes pity from the audience. I believe Peter Cushing was originally down to play the starring role in this film opposite his familiar adversary Christopher Lee, but because of other commitments he had to turn down the part and suggested Diffring instead. From appearing cold and heartless to pleading and frightened I think Anton Diffring excels in this film and was the perfect choice for the role, although in some parts the acting would have benefited from more positive directing. Christopher Lee and Hazel Court are excellent in their roles and give fine performances in what is a thought provoking and beautifully shot film.


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