A lonely widowed housewife does her daily chores, takes care of her apartment where she lives with her teenage son, and turns the occasional trick to make ends meet. However, something happens that changes her safe routine.
After causing an accident that left his daughter Christiane severely disfigured, the brilliant surgeon Dr. Génessier works tirelessly to give the girl a new face. He does so however by kidnapping young women and attempting face transplants. He has been woefully unsuccessful to date. The doctor's world begins to collapse around him when his daughter realizes just what he has been doing.Written by
The initial release of the film was met with negative reactions from film critics. One French critic stated the film was "in a minor genre and quite unworthy of his [director Georges Franju] abilities." Franju responded by saying that the film was his attempt to get the minor genre to be taken seriously. See more »
In the initial surgery scene, Doctor Génessier makes cuts around the face and eyes of the young woman (Edna). When he and Louise remove the face, there are suddenly marks and a hole cut around the mouth. See more »
The films initial 1962 release to the US was edited and the film was re-titled. The surgery scene was cut down for content, while scenes that made Dr. Genessier seem sympathetic (particularly the scene where he cares for an ailing boy) were also edited. See more »
George Franju's "Yeux Sans Visage" is extremely slow yet absolutely riveting. The direction is masterful and Pierre Brasseur is superb as the dedicated doctor whose love for his daughter leads him to commit unspeakable crimes.
The cold, sinister atmosphere of the film will seep into your bones and you may find it hard to look at the screen when the central skin-removal operation takes place - this is an extraordinarily grisly sequence for its time, lent all the more power by the cold, matter-of-fact direction and acting.
In a film full of haunting images, you will find the last one unforgettable.
Why can't modern directors make horror films as good as this? It deals with a potentially lurid, gory subject-matter with masterly subtlety and skill.
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