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Eyes Without a Face (The Criterion Collection) (1962)

Georges Hubert , Nicole Ladmiral , Georges Franju  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Georges Hubert, Nicole Ladmiral, Alfred Macquart, Maurice Griselle, André Brunier
  • Directors: Georges Franju
  • Writers: Georges Franju, Claude Sautet, Jean Redon, Pierre Boileau, Pierre Gascar
  • Producers: Jules Borkon
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Black & White, Closed-captioned, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: October 19, 2004
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002V7O0Q
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,937 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Eyes Without a Face (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Blood of the Beasts, Georges Franju's 1949 short documentary about the slaughterhouses of Paris
  • Stills gallery of rare production photos and promotional material
  • Archival interviews with the filmmaker
  • New essays by acclaimed novelist Patrick McGrath, and writer/film historian David Kalat
  • Theatrical Trailers

Editorial Reviews

Secluded in the French countryside, a brilliant, obsessive doctor attempts a radical plastic surgery to restore his beloved daughter’s once-beautiful face, but at a horrifying price. Lauded as a true rarity of horror cinema, Eyes Without a Face (Les Yeux sans visage) has influenced countless films in its wake and stunned audiences around the world with its shocking yet poetic imagery. The Criterion Collection is proud to present Georges Franju’s lyrical black-and-white classic in a long-awaited, high-definition DVD edition.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
50 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something dark for Halloween. June 17, 2005
I guess I'm a horror film snob, but I like my "creature features" and ghost stories with a little class. Give me Julie Harris in "The Haunting," or Deborah Kerr "The Innocents," or Jean Cocteau's "Beauty and the Beast," or Mia Farrow in "Rosemary's Baby." One of my all-time favorite horror films is this macabre tale of a girl with a tragically disfigured face and her mad-surgeon of a father, obsessed with restoring her beauty - no matter the cost.

Directed by Georges Franju and scripted by Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac (who wrote "Diabolique" and "Vertigo"), "Eyes Without a Face" is one of the most stylish, suspensful and gruesome films I've ever seen. My sister leaves the room during the surgical sequences - really, truly horrific. The performances are excellent throughout. The physician's assistant is played by the wonderful Alida Valli (of "The Third Man" fame). Pierre Brasseur plays the surgeon and Edith Scob is simply haunting in the titular role. The great Maurice Jarre composed the score. Don't miss this one. Play this on Halloween for all your friends who've never heard of it - and then sit back and watch them squirm. Great movie.
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48 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An artistic mad doctor splatter flick from France November 1, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
"Eyes Without a Face" ("Les Yeux sans visage") is a horror film in which there is certain sympathy with the mad doctor, in this case Doctor Genessier (Pierre Brasseur) who is trying to repair the horrible damage to his daughter Christiane (Edith Scob) in a car accident that was his fault. The doctor, helped by his assistant Louise (Alida Valli), has been kidnapping young girls so that he can remove their skin and graft it onto Christiane's ruined face. Not only do the victims die, but the grafts fail, forcing Genessier to try again and again and again. What makes Georges Franju's film work is the inherent sympathy we feel towards the father trying to make his daughter beautiful again, just as we are repulsed by the surgical procedures he uses. Meanwhile, Genessier remains oblivious to what his efforts are doing to Christiane's own tenuous hold on reality.
"Eyes Without a Face" moves back and forth from the sacred and the profane, between the love of a parent for a child and meaningless destruction of human life. Franju conveys this contrast visually through the use of poetic images and realistic scenes. I have read arguments that "Eyes Without a Face" should be considered with "Psycho" as creating the splatter flick, and while it is hard to imagine anything having the impact of Hitchcock's film, Franju's movie is more artistic overall (of course, the shower scene is the master trump when we talk about horror films as "art"). This black & white French film with English subtitles is well worth seeing and could end up on your personal top 10 horror film list.
The "Eyes Without a Face" translation is actually the British title for this 1959 release, which was called "The Horror Chamber of Dr.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Horror Poetry December 27, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
When I first saw this film as a young man, those releasing it in the States were obviously trying to cash in on the hard-core horror market so they released it under the unconcionable title "Horror Chamber of Dr. Faustus." This is probably why I laid my $.25 down and walked in to see it. I had a pentient for trashy horror flicks that I don't seem to have entirely outgrown. was obvious even to me that this was a cut above what I was used to seeing. Yes, there were some graphic scenes that would make most peoples' skin crawl, but it was more than that. As I was able to see it again some 40 or so years later I realized why. This movie gets under your skin with haunting imagery and sadness. The story, about a doctor who uses his assistant to kidnap young woumen so he can remove the skin from their faces in order to restore the face of his own daughter, actually started a small sub-genre in horror films. This is by far the best I've seen. The black and white cinematography is beautiful. Few films use light and shadow to the effect they are seen here. And when the daughter is first seen with her featureless, white mask it is one of the creepiest and saddest moments in film. These aren't shallow, evil people we're witnessing here. These are people driven by guilt and dedication, carrying out acts that make sense to them in their circumstances. The mechanics of the plot, particularly those involving the police, are somewhat pedestrian, but there is more than enough here to overcome the minor shortcomings. When the viewer reaches the end of the film, to see the shot of the daughter outside her house on a windswept night, few moments in cinema ever reach the same degree of power, horror and poetry as those caught here.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars [Criterion Collection] Top 10 Horror Film of the 1960s September 3, 2013
Near Paris, the brilliant and famous surgeon Dr. Génessier destroyed the face of his beloved daughter, Christiane, in a car wreck. He becomes insane, trying to restore her face through successive transplants of the faces of pretty women abducted by his assistant Louise. Eyes Without a Face is one of the best horror movies to come out of the 1960s (and in the Top 100 Horror Films of All-Time). It was directed by Georges Franju. The film's initial US release trimmed the surgery scene while sequences that made Dr. Génessier appear sympathetic (particularly the scene where he cares for an ailing boy) were also edited. Eyes Without a Face is available here completely uncut for US audiences (total runtime is 90 minutes). The picture and audio have been remastered and both are great quality. In this Criterion Collection deluxe release we get 53 minutes of total bonus content including one new interview with Edith Scob and previous bonus content ported over. Optional English subtitles are available during the main feature and all applicable supplements.

Video Resolution/Codec: 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 | Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
Audio Formats: French Uncompressed Mono
Subtitles/Captions: English

Special Features:
New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
Audio interview with director Rene Clair
Blood of the Beasts, Georges Franju's 1949 documentary about the slaughterhouses of Paris (new high-definition digital restoration on the Blu-ray edition)
Archival interviews with Franju on horror, cinema, and the making of Blood of the Beasts
Excerpt from Les Grands-pères du crime, a 1985 documentary about Eyes Without a Face writers Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac
A booklet featuring essays by novelist Patrick McGrath, film historian David Kalat and filmmaker Guy Maddin
NEW interview with actor Edith Scob

Buy this Blu-ray. Fans will find this a worthy upgrade.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars mad doctor movie
a doctor trying to restore a woman's pretty face with bad results
Published 29 days ago by tom danneels
5.0 out of 5 stars See this film!!!
Breathtakingly brilliant. A heartbreaking and surreal cinematic poem.
Published 1 month ago by S. Shearsby
4.0 out of 5 stars Psycho's contemporary balances fairytale and horror story
Yes, the Billy Idol song was named after this film. Oddly, neither White Wedding nor Rebel Yell seem to have been used as the titles for feature films, even the lazy, cheap,... Read more
Published 5 months ago by dra
3.0 out of 5 stars Shocking and Disturbing, But Also Thin and Repetitive
Creeping, poetic French horror that wears classical inspirations on its sleeve while trying to nudge the genre along in bleak new directions. It's a mixed bag, really. Read more
Published 5 months ago by drqshadow
3.0 out of 5 stars Creepy
Not a bad little movie. Surgery scene was creepy!! I'm not crazy about subtitles, but if you're a vintage horror fan, you definitely should watch it!
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting and Strange
If you like scary, creepy low-budget horror this is it. Edith Scob as the tortured daughter Christiane is a most compelling phantom - her eyes so beautiful and expressive. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Sr Happy Popi
5.0 out of 5 stars FRENCH NOIR AT ITS BEST
Published 10 months ago by jimi
5.0 out of 5 stars Uncommon
The sheer beauty of this Blu-ray transfer will prevent you from heading toward the door. The crazy score and pace of this accomplishment will keep your backside warm in the chair. Read more
Published 10 months ago by killer b
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning film
Stunning!!!!!!!!! Classic film recommended to all !!!!! , One of the classics from the age of Great horror films. A Must have
Published 10 months ago by Mario C.
5.0 out of 5 stars Les yeux sans visage
Excellente restauration pour un film remarquable que nous devons avoir vu au minimum une fois dans sa vie de cinéphile.
Published 10 months ago by Gaziglia Gerard
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