Eyes Without a Face | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Eyes Without a Face

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As Dave Kehr originally described it, "a classic example of the poetry of terror." Georges Franju's 1959 horror film, based on a novel by Jean Redon, is about a plastic surgeon who's responsible for the car accident that leaves his daughter disfigured; he attempts to rebuild her face with transplants from attractive young women he kidnaps with the aid of his assistant. As absurd and as beautiful as a fairy tale, this chilling, nocturnal black-and-white masterpiece was originally released in this country dubbed and under the title The Horror Chamber of Dr. Faustus, but it's much too elegant to warrant the usual "psychotronic" treatment. It may be Franju's best feature, and Eugen Schufftan's exquisite cinematography deserves to be seen in 35-millimeter. With Pierre Brasseur, Edith Scob, Alida Valli, Juliette Mayniel, Francois Guerin, and Claude Brasseur; Maurice Jarre composed the music. In French with subtitles. 88 min. Music Box.

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