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X - The Man With The X-Ray Eyes (1963)

Ray Milland , Diana Van der Vlis , Roger Corman  |  NR |  DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Ray Milland, Diana Van der Vlis, Harold J. Stone, John Hoyt, Don Rickles
  • Directors: Roger Corman
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: June 5, 2001
  • Run Time: 79 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005AUK1
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #105,407 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "X - The Man With The X-Ray Eyes" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Original theatrical prologue

Editorial Reviews

"Only the gods see everything," cautions one scientist as Dr. James Xavier (Ray Milland) experiments with a formula that will allow the human eye to see beyond the wavelength of visible light. "I am closing in on the gods," he responds with the hubris that is doomed to destroy his overreaching ambition. A mix of Greek tragedy and sci-fi potboiler, Roger Corman's X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes (simply identified as X in the eerie, odd opening credits) is a familiar tale of a scientist who risks everything to explore the unknown and is finally driven mad by, literally, seeing too much. Peeping through the clothes of comely women is all good adolescent fun until the gift becomes a nightmare as his sight rages out of control. The possibilities suggested in the hints of addiction and inconsistent bouts of megalomania remain tantalizingly unexplored in the unfocused script, and Corman's cut-rate special effects are often more hokey than haunting (the "city dissolved in an acid of light" that Xavier poetically describes becomes fuzzy photography through a series of color filters). Don Rickles offers a venal turn as a scheming carnival barker turned blackmailing con man, and Diana Van der Vlis is understanding as a sympathetic scientist who tries to rescue Xavier from his spiral into tortured madness, but in the tradition of Greek tragedy, he is doomed to be destroyed by the very gifts he desires.

MGM's widescreen disc also features commentary by director-producer Corman. --Sean Axmaker

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "My dear friend, only the gods see everything." March 16, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
In X - The Man with the X-Ray Eyes (1963) Dr. James Xavier, played by Ray Milland, desires the ability to `access the entire wavelength spectrum' so that he may see what no one else can...what male hasn't had that dream? Seriously, if you ever read a comic book, there was always an advertisement, usually between ads for Wildroot hair tonic, how to become a muscle man, or an offer for real Texas rattlesnake eggs, that touted `X-Ray Glasses' featuring a crudely drawn illustration of a guy wearing said glasses and not only having the ability to see the bones in his hand, but also being able to see through a woman's clothes...and I bet a great deal of them were sold, not because they actually worked (most of us, on some level, knew they wouldn't), but on the very slight possibility that they might. Produced and directed by Roger Corman (Pit and the Pendulum, The Masque of the Red Death), the film stars Oscar winner Ray Milland (The Lost Weekend, The Big Clock). Also appearing is Diana Van der Vlis (The Girl in Black Stockings), Harold Stone (Spartacus), John Hoyt (Attack of the Puppet People), and Don `Mr. Warmth' Rickles (Beach Blanket Bingo, Kelly's Heroes).

As I already mentioned, Milland plays Dr. James Xavier, a man with an obsession. You see, as humans, we only see about ten percent of what's actually out there, and he wants more (greedy bastich). During his research he develops the X formula, which in experiments allows a monkey to see through cardboard, but has a curious side effect of death...Xavier chalks this up to the monkeys minuscule brain not being able to comprehend what it sees, thus shutting down and causing the demise, but humans are smarter than monkeys, so shouldn't have the same problem, right? Right...
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The most atypical and probably the best Roger Corman film November 30, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
One of the reasons that "X - The Man With the X-Ray Eyes" looks half-way decent in Ray Milland's film career is that when he started his spectacular drop from winning the Oscar for his performance in 1945's "The Lost Weekend" he was still almost a decade away from making "The Thing With Two Heads." I always figured this 1963 film from director Roger Corman was inspired by the infamous add for X-Ray specs that appeared inside the front cover of virtually every comic book produced when I was a kid. However, the screen play is credited to Robert Dillon ("Muscle Beach Party," "French Connection II") and Ray Russell ("Mr. Sardonicus"), based on a story by Russell. The plot is as simple as the ad: Dr. James Xavier (Milland), is a world famous scientist who is experimenting with human eyesight and develops a serum that will allow him to see fun things like ultraviolent rays and (gasp!) through objects. Of course, this is one of those things that seems like a good idea at the time...
The film is really much more of a science fiction film than it is the traditional sort of horror film you expect from Corman, who has a script that suits his ability to bring out the weirdness in situations. The film has remarkably little to do with voyeurism and actually more to do with the nature of reality. It is ultimately a psychological drama, because as Xavier sees human beings reduced to their skeletons, he becomes incapable of dealing with them on a personal level.
In terms of movies where the mad scientist goes off the deep end with a god complex, this one makes the main character the victim of his own experiments (contrast this with Claude Reins in "The Invisible Man").
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Cool contact lenses! February 8, 2002
Ray Milland's movie career took an interesting turn in the early 1960's...he signed on to do three films for American International Pictures, an outfit far removed from the majors like Paramount and 20th Century Fox. At the time, AIP was well-known for cranking out black and white cheapie fliks for the teenage matinee crowd, stuff like "The Day the World Ended" and "The She Creature." By 1963, when "The Man With the X-Ray Eyes" was released, AIP was enlarging their budgets by adding color, better sets, and employing good writers (Richard Matheson, Charles Beaumont) and actors (Vincent Price, Hazel Court, Peter Lorre, Basil Rathbone, Karloff). Milland's involvement was one more step up the "prestige" ladder for AIP. Mr. Milland had won an Academy Award (Best Actor, "The Lost Weekend" 1945) and was a touch of Hollywood royalty that AIP would not let go unexploited. The first film he did under their banner was "The Premature Burial," directed by Roger Corman. Then came "Man With the X-Ray Eyes," an interesting and philosophical sci-fi thriller. It contains an excellent Milland performance as "Dr. Xavier," who concocts a serum that allows him to see through any object. Eventually, overuse of the drops results in the doctor being able to see into Infinity...and what he finds there is enough to drive anyone insane (or is it? Check out the film!). Production values are good, if a little "TV-like," and director Corman keeps things moving at a quick pace. Mention should be made of Don Rickles (?!) contribution as a sleazy carnival hustler--he's truly obnoxious and completely believable! Not to mention surprisingly skinny! I loved the film's ending, and I, too, heard the legend about the cut line. Corman, in a commentary, remarks on it, giving us the full scoop on whether the scene was ever filmed. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Best Corman...
I had only seen this film once when I was a kid and, for some reason, the memory stuck. When I saw that it was available on DVD, I had to get it and see how it held up. Read more
Published 1 month ago by George Dearling
4.0 out of 5 stars "It's like a splitting of the world...more light than I've ever seen!"
For its budget, this is an extremely well-done little film, with Ray Milland inventing eye drops that allow him to see through things. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Rob Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars good find
X was a very good intriguing movie. well acted and well done visually. enjoyed it a lot. Felt a bit "cheated" at the end because I had believed there was a final line... Read more
Published 3 months ago by south dakota
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good Sci-Fi movie
This movie is really good, I just like Ray Milland because he did some really good horror and Sci-fi Films in the 1950s He is a believable actor ,and in this movie he proves that... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jerry G
5.0 out of 5 stars can we see too much?
I'm both a Roger Corman and Ray Milland fan. This film was Mr. Corman's more major effort.
It also is one of his more deeply philosophical films("The Intruder" was... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Ronald J. Barrier
5.0 out of 5 stars Ray milland fan
I enjoyed his oblong box and other movies of his. this one is one of his best. this is for any fan.
Published 6 months ago by Kurt Mstoecklhuber
3.0 out of 5 stars X-ray vision effects
It's an interesting story with a unique perspective on what happens when a person develops x-ray vision for what he thinks is a good cause.
Published 11 months ago by Tim Karber
5.0 out of 5 stars Man With the Xray Eyes review\
Have always really liked this movie. Excellent quality. Ray Milland movies are probably an acquired taste, but I sure do like them.
Published 15 months ago by floyd pinkton
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting little shocker
Saw this movie years ago - haven't thought about it again till was reading King's "Danse Macabre", which had a long review of the movie.... Read more
Published 20 months ago by D. Mcintosh
5.0 out of 5 stars vintage corman, one of his best
a fabulous film from the golden days of b-movies. Corman invests this typical sci-fi tale of the scientist who goes too far with an intelligent script and characters, a fine... Read more
Published 21 months ago by bram.k
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