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The Man Who Could Cheat Death / The Skull [Blu-ray]

4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Peter Cushing (The Skull), Patrick Wymark (The Skull), Christopher Lee (The Skull), Anton Diffring (The Man Who Could Cheat Death), Hazel Court (The Man Who Could Cheat Death)
  • Directors: Freddie Francis (The Skull), Terence Fisher ( The Man Who Could Cheat Death)
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Legend Films
  • DVD Release Date: May 3, 2011
  • Run Time: 165 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004W6JJXC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,449 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

This two-disc collection is filled with suspense and terror as it features classic, bonechilling tales from two of the biggest horror powerhouse producers: Hammer Studios and Amicus Productions. The Skull weaves a chilling tale surrounding the real-life terrors of the Marquis de Sade. Featuring outstanding performances by Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, this tale introduces Dr. Christopher Maitland (Cushing) who purchases the infamous skull of the Marquis de Sade, a decision that he was warned against by his good friend - and previous skull owner - Matthew Phillips (Lee). The question is whether or not Dr. Maitland will live to regret his decision.

The Man Who Could Cheat Death features a horror filled tale starring Anton Diffring as Dr. Georges Bonnet, a man with a hideous obsession to live forever… all he needs are the glands of some very unwilling donors. Also starring Christopher Lee and the beautiful horror legend Hazel Court, this film is a suspense-filled ride for all who enjoy classic horror cinema.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Terence Fisher's "The Man Who Could Cheat Death" made in 1959 is one of Fisher's lesser films. A remake of "The Man in Half Moon Street" it stars Anton Diffring as Dr. Georges Bonnett a talented surgeon who likes to sculpt in his spare time. Evidently he must have had plenty of spare time to learn how--he's over 100 years old yet looks like he is in his late 30's-early 40's. Jimmy Sangster's screenplay based on Barré Lyndon ("War of the Worlds")play tends to be heavy on the melodrama and short on the thrills. It's not a bad movie as there's some stylish direction from Fisher and Christopher Lee in a supporting role and good acting on hand from Hazel Court and others. The film just lacks the thrills so central to early Hammer films.

"The Skull" starring Peter Cushing and directed by Freddie Francis (who photographed "The Innocents" and "The Elelphant Man")is a very clever Amicus production based on a short story by Robert Bloch (author of the novel PSYCHO and a respected screenwriter as well). Featuring Christopher Lee and the late Michael Gough in suppporting roles "The Skull" Cushing stars as Christopher Maitland who collects "odd" objects such as...the skull of de Sade which exerts an evil influence on Maitland to do REALLY bad things.

The script by Amicus co-founder and producer Milton Subotsky helps raise the second feature on this set above the Hammer film.

Both films receive nice looking transfers to Blu-ray although the edge goes to "The Skull". "Death" doesn't look quite as "lively" as some of the more color saturated 50's transfers of Hammer films from Warner or Sony. For "Death" blacks aren't quite as solid as I had hoped and there are some minor digital artifacts that crop up now and again(no doubt due to the transfer).
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hammer and Amicus fans: more than meets the eye. May 7, 2011
Verified Purchase
For the first time in years, I just watched a double feature of THE SKULL, directed by Freddie Francis, and THE MAN WHO CHEATED DEATH, directed by Terence Fisher, released on blu-ray this week. THE SKULL has been reviewed ever since it opened without much enthusiasm, and DEATH usually gets mentioned in passing as a lesser Fisher film. Though I am not ready to proclaim the films masterpieces, I am here to urge those interested in Hammer and Amicus productions to take a look.

Fisher works from a highly melodramatic and talky Sangster script (based on a play) that somehow never transcends the boundaries of boulevard melodrama. Fisher, knowing he has a lot of talking to get the viewer through, stages each and every dialogue beat with a choreographer's exactitude, which seems at times more fitting for opera or musical theatre than film. But taking the piece as a whole, realizing the choices Fisher made and stuck with though out, there's an extraordinary sense of directorial craft on display. Typical of Fisher, every shot, camera move, and bit of blocking keeps the action forward moving; nothing is arbitrary, nothing is wasted. Jack Asher's lush photography distills Fisher's heightened dramatic choices with very clever and well placed color diffusions and short lens compositions that at times seem to sizzle in context to the action. And, of course, Robinson's sets utilize, as always, the Hammer stock, with vivid details framing the action, supporting Fisher's storytelling style with the kind of vitality only well chosen and appropriately placed details can. There is more to THE MAN WHO CHEATED DEATH then one might think. If nothing else, it offers us a rather nakedly displayed example of Fisher's directorial sense of craft, which in itself is worth the effort.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Man Who Could Cheat Death / The Skull (Blu-ray) October 17, 2011
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Both of these Blu-ray films are extremely entertaining, with good scripts, fine cast, and decent production--particularly The Skull. The widescreen pictures are clean and pleasant, which are enhanced for 16:9 TVs.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Double HD Dose of Solid Brit Shocks! September 12, 2011
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These two above average British horror films are priced just right and look nice on BD. Not spectacularly restored but a definite upgrade from the SD DVDs. You can never go wrong with Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Terence Fisher and Freddie Francis in hi def!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth the Price July 5, 2011
By Visa
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This Blu-ray twin bill is worth the price - if for nothing else - for the film - The Skull. The Man Who Could Cheat Death was enjoyable - but I don't know if I would watch it more than two or three times, while The Skull is a film I've seen three four times already and look forward to watching again - in blu-ray. It will be like seeing it for the first time - the colors will be so bright and clear. Get it - you'll enjoy the Skull.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Man Who Could Cheat Death. August 6, 2013
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This is a Hammer film made in 1958 and released in 1959. Its main stars are Anton Diffring, Hazel Court and Christopher Lee. It is my understand that Peter Cushing was unavaible to play the lead so it went to Anton Diffring. I have always enjoyed Anton Diffrings performances and this is no exception. The movie was not one of Hammers' best, however, the sets and costumes were, in my opinion, top notch. Most of the early Hammer films had very good sets and costumes. The movie is a little over 80 minutes and moves along at a good pace. If you are a Hammer film fan you will probably enjoy this movie. John R. Tracy
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars The Skull/Man who could cheat death
Two great films, one Hammer and one Amicus. Nice HD transfers, not restored but clean and looking good. A good buy.
Published 1 month ago by windy
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Double Feature!!
Both movies are well written and directed films. With Peter Cushing (The Skull) and Anton Diffring (The Man Who Could Cheat Death) carrying the bulk of the acting in the 2 films it... Read more
Published 4 months ago by John Verger
4.0 out of 5 stars I love this stuff.
2 pleasing entries from Hammer & restore here....artifacts abound, but don't be put off.... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Paul Friis
2.0 out of 5 stars Not good transfer
These transfer are directly from the DVD. I could make this in my basement. Great movies but if you own the DVDs don't waste your money. Read more
Published 8 months ago by MojoRisin
5.0 out of 5 stars two good 60's horror films
One of these is a straight horror film starring peter cushing. In which the skull of the marquis de sade is haunting him and such. It's a good hammer type of film. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Michael Dobey
4.0 out of 5 stars Two movies, at a good price.
Firstly the blu-rays are good. I'd never seen either film before and took a chance as I am a Peter Cushing fan. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Samuel Bond
3.0 out of 5 stars OK for the Price
10 bucks for a mid-grade Horror Double Feature in Blu-ray, is not unreasonable. I first saw THE SKULL, in the theater with my Dad, when I was 9. It scared me then. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Buyer Bob
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 Movies for under $10.00
Can't go wrong with this one. Two old Hammer films for the price of one. The movies are OK, and the blue-ray is also OK. A couple of decent flims for your sci-fi collection.
Published 15 months ago by ronald kaufman
5.0 out of 5 stars the man who could cheat death/ the skull
the man who could cheat death and the skull are two very good horrow movies these movies look great on bluray the colors are very bright and clear and the audio is excellent avery... Read more
Published 20 months ago by vernon egolf
4.0 out of 5 stars Blu Ray makes it better
These movies are always entertaining. I was first introduced to them at the kiddie matinees in the 60s and 70s. Got a great laugh out of them even then. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Robert B.
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