A woman returning home falls asleep and has vivid dreams that may or may not be happening in reality. Through repetitive images and complete mismatching of the objective view of time and space, her dark inner desires play out on-screen.
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
Although the film passed European censors upon its original release in 1960, the film's disturbing facial surgery scene still caused controversy. See more »
There are actually two different Citroen DS cars used in the film as the Doctor's car. One, presumably a DS21, has two spotlights built into the bodywork by the headlights and chrome trim, including a driver's wing-mirror (see 10:00 as he arrives with no lights and 12:50 as he leaves a few minutes later using headlights and spotlights, another continuity gaff in itself). At 12 :50 and 14:16 the DS with spotlights is seen but at 17:19 it has changed to one with no spotlights and no wing-mirror, presumably a DS19. Though its front plate is "7769-GR75", when the Doctor puts it into the garage, the rear plate reads "2923-GR75" and the assistant's Citroen Diane has the plate "7769-GR75" on the front. At 32:18 the Diane has "2923-GY75" on the rear and at 32:55 the same on the front, which was its registration when first seen near the start of the film. Finally, at 54:49 it's back to the DS with spotlights. See more »
This film is dark and somber with a spare, eerie music score that suits perfectly the macabre, surreal story. A brilliant but deranged surgeon, having caused his daughter's disfigurement in a car accident, loses touch with reality and tries to restore her beauty in a most repulsive manner. Undeterred by failure, the mad doctor continues his gruesome work, hoping to find a miracle cure that will reconstruct the girl's facial features and also relieve him of his tremendous burden of guilt. The once-lovely girl realizes that she will never enjoy a normal life or see her beloved fiancé again, and her mute telephone calls to him just to hear his voice show how empty and lonely her life has become. There are some scenes that are horribly graphic but quite well done and a few moments that are poignant and touching amid the cruelty and butchery of the movie's central theme. Each character in this grim, unhappy feature is victimized in some fashion, but in spite of its subject matter, this cult classic is lean, first-rate storytelling.
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