Greetings, and welcome to VIEWING THE CLASSICS. Here you'll find capsule reviews of vintage movies from the early days of cinema through the 1970s, with a special emphasis on sci-fi, horror, and mystery movies. Be sure to check out the Pages links, where you can find a Film Index of all my reviews, links to the reviews organized by cast members, directors, and other contributors, and links to my reviews of the films of talented young director Joshua Kennedy.

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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Eyes Without A Face (1960)

Starring Pierre Brasseur, Alida Valli, Edith Scob, Juliette Mayniel, Alexandre Rignault
Directed by Georges Franju
(actor & director credits courtesy

A doctor kidnaps young women in order to perform facial transplants on his disfigured daughter, but she only wants to die to end her suffering.

An excellent horror film from France, the production features some memorable music cues from acclaimed composer Maurice Jarre, but its real strength is the scenes in which there is no music on the soundtrack.  Ambient sound effects of the barking dogs, the creaking stairs, and the doctor's weary plodding footsteps through his home really up the tension, and the silence during a bloody surgery scene makes it even more chilling.  Scob gives a standout performance as the ill-fated daughter whose tight fitting mask and expressive eyes give us all we need to know without even paying attention to her dialogue.

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