Eyes Without a Face (1960)

Eyes Without a Face (1960), directed by Georges Franju.

A surgeon attempts repeated face transplants for his daughter, disfigured in a car accident. The donors are kidnapped and disposed of afterwards.

This is one of the creepier films I had never seen before. It plays on very common fears: of surgery, of being cut, of being at the mercy of the men in white. It also has elements unexpected in a 1960 film:

It makes us reflect on the nature of beauty, and how love and obsession interact with repulsion.

The doctor's loyal assistant is Alida Valli, who was so cool and mysterious in The Third Man (1949) and The Paradine Case. I saw her most recently in Senso (1954).

Written by the same pair who did the stories for Diabolique (1955) and Vertigo (1958).

Vivid Maurice Jarre score, ranging from deranged carnival variations for the villains, to an eerie music box tune for poor masked Christiane.

Criterion Blu-ray with a fine image.

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