Les yeux sans visage (1959)

France, Italy (“French-Italian co-production”), 1959
88m, 2,408 metres
35mm film, black and white, 1.66:1
mono, French

A French/Italian horror film directed by Georges Franju.

Plot Summary

Surgeon Dr Génessier and his assistant Louise kidnap young women and remove their faces which Génessier then attempts to graft onto his daughter Christiane whose own face has been ruined in a car accident that he caused.


A film by Georges Franju
[© not given on screen]
Lux Compagnie Cinématographique de France presents a Jules Borkon production. A Champs-Élysées Productions, Lux-Film – Rome co-production
Adaptation by: Boileau [real name: Pierre Boileau]-Narcejac [real name: Thomas Narcejac], Jean Redon, Claude Sautet
Dialogue by: Pierre Gascar
Based on the Novel by: Jean Redon
Director of Photography: Eugen Shuftan
Supervising Editor: Gilbert Natot
Music: Maurice Jarre
Sound Engineer: Antoine Archimbaud
Gowns by: Marie-Martine
Key Make-up: Georges Klein
Hairdresser: Marcelle Testard
Special Effects: Henri Assola, Lax
Art Director: Auguste Capelier
Made at: Studios de Boulogne

Pierre Brasseur (Doctor Génessier)
Alida Valli (Louise)
Juliette Mayniel (Edna)
Alexandre Rignault (Inspector Parot)
Béatrice Altariba (Paulette)
Blavette [real name: Charles Blavette] (man at the dog pound)
Claude Brasseur (inspector)
Michel Etcheverry (forensic surgeon)
Yvette Etiévant (the mother)
René Génin (Emile Tessot)
Lucien Hubert, Marcel Pérès (men in the cemetery)
François Guérin (Jacques Vernon)
Edith Scob (Christiane Génessier)

Alternative Titles

Augen ohne Gesicht – West German title
De Bestialiska – Swedish title
Eyes Without a Face – UK title
The Horror Chamber of Dr Faustus – US title
House of Dr. Rasanoff
Het Masker met de levende ogen
– French Belgian title
Occhi senza volto – Italian title
Las ojos sin cara – Mexican title
Ojos sin rostro – Spanish title
Los ojos sin rostro – Argentine title
Das Schreckenshaus des Dr Rasanoff – Austrian/West German title
Silmät ilman kasvoja – Finnish title


24 Images no.121 (Spring 2005) p.45 – illustrated article (Les invisibles: L’horrible beauté by Marcel Jean)
American Cinematographer vol.86 no.3 (March 2005) pp.16-18 – illustrated DVD review (DVD Playback by Kenneth Sweeney)
Avant-Scène du Cinéma no.188 (June 1977) pp.3-5, 7-39 – credits, screenplay
Cahiers du Cinéma no.389 (November 1986) pp.42-44 – review
Cahiers du Cinéma vol.18 no.106 (April 1960) p.48 – review
Cinéaste vol.30 no.3 (Summer 2005) pp.74-75 – illustrated video review (Eyes Without a Face by Robert Cashill)
Cinema Journal vol.37 no.4 (Summer 1998) pp.37-58 – article (Films without a face: shock horror in the films of George Franju by Adam Lowenstein)
Cinéma no.34 (March 1959) p.16 – article
Cinéma no.369 (24 September 1986) pp.3-4 – review
Cinéma no.38 (July 1959) p.49 – article
Cinéma no.45 (April 1960) p.122 – review
CinémAction no.118 (2006) pp.96-102 – illustrated article (Visagéité, la figure humaine et l'(in)humanité dans le cinéma de Georges Franju by Kate Ince)
La Cinématographie Française no.1859 (12 March 1960) p.15 – review
The Daily Cinema no.8262 (1 February 1960) p.8 – review
Empire no.71 (May 1995) p.51 – illustrated synopsis, review
Empire no.229 (July 2008) p.171 – illustrated DVD review (At home/DVD reissues: Eyes Without a Face by Simon Crook)
Fangoria no.272 (April 2008) p.51 – illustrated article (Top 13 French Frights by Chris Alexander)
Film (BFFS) no.26 (November/December 1960) p.22 – review
Film (BFFS) no.28 (March/April 1961) p.27 – letter
Film Ireland no.103 (March/April 2005) pp.32-34 – illustrated article (Son of A-Z of Cult Cinema by Mark Venner)
Film Quarterly vol.15 no.4 (Summer 1962) p.55 – review
Image et Son no.176/177 (September/October 1964) p.153 – review
Monthly Film Bulletin vol.27 no.314 (March 1960) p.36 – credits, synopsis, review
Positif no.34 (May 1960) p.55 – review
Science Fiction Film and Television vol.1 no.1 (Spring 2008) pp.105-114 – article (The lab and the woods: science and myth in Les Yeux sans visage by Mary Pharr)
Shivers no.71 (November 1999) pp.48-51 – illustrated article
Sight & Sound vol.29 no.2 (Spring 1960) p.92 – review
Sight & Sound vol.5 no.4 (April 1995) pp.24-27 – illustrated article (Homeopathic horror by Iain Sinclair)
Sight & Sound vol.15 no.1 (January 2005) p.75 – illustrated DVD review (Nozone: Skin scare by Tim Lucas)
Sight & Sound vol.18 no.6 (June 2008) p.85 – illustrated DVD review (Reviews: DVDs: Eyes Without a Face by Michael Brooke)
Studies in French Cinema vol.10 no.1 (2010) pp.11-38 – illustrated article (Traces of the modern alternative history of French cinema by Martine Beugnet and Elizabeth Ezra)
La Technique Cinématographique no.196 (March 1959) p.67 – review
Télérama no.2371 (21 June 1995) p.145 – credits, synopsis, review (by Gilbert Salachas)
Total Film no.142 (Summer 2008) p.141 – illustrated DVD review (by Jamie Graham)
Variety 26 August 1959 pp.6, 34 – review

The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror by Phil Hardy (ed.) p.125 – illustrated credits, review
Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Science Fiction by Phil Hardy (ed) p.193 – illustrated credits, review
English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby pp.64, 102, 170, 212
Euro Gothic: Classics of Continental Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby pp.6, 75-78, 86, 88, 94, 102, 106, 112, 125, 134, 160, 173, 198, 226, 282, 337, 397
French Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror and Pulp Fiction by Jean-Marc Lofficier and Randy Lofficier p.63
Horror and Science Fiction Films III by Donald C. Willis p.94-95
Horror Films by Subgenre: A Viewer’s Guide by Chris Vander Kaay and Kathleen Fernandez-Vander Kaay p.181
Reference Guide to Fantastic Films by Walt Lee p.200 – credits
Top 100 Horror Movies by Gary Gerani p.128 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review

Other Sources
BFI Southbank Guide October/November 2018 p.41 – illustrated listing