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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Saturday, January 7, 2017

The Man Who Could Cheat Death (1959)

Starring Anton Diffring, Hazel Court, Christopher Lee, Arnold Marle, Delphi Lawrence
Directed by Terence Fisher
(actor & director credits courtesy

A wealthy and youthful doctor hides the amazing secret that he is 104 years old, but the treatments he's undergone to extend his life have effected his sanity, and led him to commit murder.

An often forgotten horror film from the Hammer studio, this features some of the same cast and crew from their first venture into the gothics, The Curse Of Frankenstein, although it doesn't reach the same heights.  A remake of The Man In Half Moon Street, it possesses a story that has much to say about what would happen if a true fountain of youth were discovered, and is well-acted, although this isn't Diffring's finest work.  Nevertheless, his eerie stare in the scenes where his youth begins to fade is quite effective.  The film might have been more impactful with a stronger score, but Richard Bennett's music here pales in comparison to James Bernard's work for Hammer's other early horrors.  Still, I found the picture interesting and a time capsule worth discovering for fans of director Fisher, cinematographer Jack Asher, and actress Hazel Court.

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