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"Eyes Without a Face (1959)"...how is it as a blind buy?

Old 01-30-06, 04:37 PM
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"Eyes Without a Face (1959)"...how is it as a blind buy?

wondering if i should add this title as a serious horror film. thanks.
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Old 01-30-06, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by scott1598
wondering if i should add this title as a serious horror film. thanks.
I think its a terrific movie (and a great Criterion DVD). If you're looking for a serious, poetic, surrealistic, landmark horror film then this is it. The only drawback for me is that the plot has been ripped off so many times it now seems cliche. And it may be too slow for viewers used to modern horror movie pacing. But the movie has so much artistry beyond these "drawbacks", that it deserves a place in DVD collections.
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Old 01-31-06, 02:57 AM
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I bought it on the strength of a review I read years ago, that so piqued my interest I knew I had to see (and own) it. It's well worth whatever it costs to buy it...I think DDD has it on sale for less than $20 right now.
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Old 01-31-06, 03:13 PM
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I watched it for the october horror marathon challenge thing and I hate the french language and don't really enjoy black and white movies all that much, but I still liked it. So if you like this king of film I would say buy it. fo sho.
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Old 01-31-06, 03:42 PM
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I bought it as a blind buy (after hearing a lot about it), and I thought it was a great movie. If you enjoy classic horror movies, you should certainly give this one a look.
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Old 02-01-06, 01:38 PM
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This thread got me to pull out my Criterion DVD and watch again. DVD Savant did a really good write-up of this on this site (much better than Matt Langdon's luke-warm review, which sounded as if he couldn't be bothered by a "b-movie"). A side comment about DVD reviews: isn't it funny how the reviewer's opinion of the movie itself often bleeds over into the technical and extras ratings? That is, people that don't like the movie find reasons to lower the rating of other aspects of the DVD, and lovers of the movie overlook other flaws of the DVD. Not everyone does this, but a number seem to.

Anyway, again this is a great movie, and a seminal work in the history of horror movies. I was really struck with how sad it is (especially with Christiane's character, wonderfully acted here). Scenes like where she comforts the dogs, calls her fiance, her post-surgery "montage", and the closing scenes -- just really emotionally moving, which helps to elevate this above standard horror fare. And despite the passage of more than 45 years, there's still stuff in there that will give a jolt to the squeamish (I can believe the reports of 50's audiences "dropping like flies" in the theater). The extras are pretty good too -- especially the 22 minutes documentary "Blood of the Beasts" which exceedingly horrific and gory (by any eras standards). And it fits in nicely with the themes of "Eyes" with its clinical and professional approach to gory procedures.

A funny tidbit in the DVD package. Franju was given the go-ahead forthis movie by the producers on 3 conditions: no blood (which would offend the French), no cruelty to animals (which would offend the British), and no mad-scientists/doctors (which would offend the Germans). Then he went ahead and put in all 3!
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Old 02-01-06, 02:26 PM
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I saw this at a midnight movie screening quite some time ago and it was pretty good. I'm sure watching it on DVD is not as good, but it is a disturbing (but not graphic) film. You've probably seen similar ideas before, but don't let that stop you. I wouldn't call it a masterpiece, but its a solid film.
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Old 02-01-06, 02:32 PM
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I saw this in a theater in the past couple of years when it was released by Rialto prior to the DVD release. I remember being a bit disappointed. Probably a victim of too much buildup as I had heard a lot about it. It didn't help that the film was projected at 1.85:1 instead of 1.66:1; it appeared to be too tight at the top and bottom ... the DVD is 1.66:1 I believe ... I was distracted by this during almost every shot.

But ... I've thought about it often since then and now realize that there is a lot there that I didn't appreciate on first viewing. There is a lot of great imagery; the mask that Edith Scob wears is an icon for scary movies (I won't use "horror" because I don't think of the movie in that way ... there aren't any jump-out-of-your-seat scares). I bought the DVD (although I haven't gotten around to viewing it yet) and think it is a very worthwhile purchase for a "horror" fan ... although as I said, don't expect "Psycho" like shocks. It's much more of a "mood" piece.

For me, there was a scene that was as unsettling in its own way as any of the more commonly noted scenes:

When you first see Edith Scob's character without her mask ... I felt I had been set up for some dramatic reveal of her horribly scarred face when her mask would be ripped away ... imagine my surprise when 30 minutes in or so we see her unmasked face, completely normal looking (it has been newly repaired), with no special buildup at all. A very suble twist in my opinion.

Last edited by obscurelabel; 02-01-06 at 02:35 PM.
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Old 02-01-06, 07:35 PM
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I have never seen this but i have heard about it, sorry cant help ya
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Old 02-02-06, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Khan!
I have never seen this but i have heard about it, sorry cant help ya
lol, so why post?
Anywho, I liked this film. It was certainly not pleasant, very melancholic with desolate/dreary settings and stark cinematography. Overall it creates an eerie surreal tone, and is certainly a very interesting film to watch.
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