The Man Who Could Cheat Death (1959)

UK, 1959
82m 59s (UK – theatrical)
35mm, Technicolor
mono, English

A British horror film directed by Terence Fisher.

Plot Summary

Dr Georges Bonner has found that regular replacements of certain glands every decade will retard the aging process. He’s lived to 104 years old and is nearing the time for his next operation but his now aged partner, Dr Ludwig Weiss is unexpectedly delayed by a stroke and Bonner has to turn to murder in order to obtain a glandular fluid vital to his process. Complications set in when Bonner tries to persuade another doctor, Pierre to take over the operation and Bonner’s former fiancé, Janine catches up with him.


* = uncredited

Directed by: Terence Fisher
© MCMLIX [1959] by Cadogan Films Ltd
Hammer Film Productions present a Paramount release
Produced by: Michael Carreras
Associate Producer: Anthony Nelson Keys
Production Manager: Don Weeks
Screenplay by: Jimmy Sangster
From a play by Barre Lyndon
Assistant Director: John Peverall
Continuity: Shirley Barnes
Director of Photography: Jack Asher
Camera Operator: Len Harris
Supervising Editor: James Needs
Editor: John Dunsford
Color by Technicolor
Music Composed by: Richard Bennett
Musical Supervisor: John Hollingsworth
Sound Recordist: Jock May
RCA Sound Recording
Wardrobe: Molly Arbuthnot
Make-up Artist: Roy Ashton
Hair Stylist: Henry Montsash
Production Designer: Bernard Robinson
Produced at Bray Studios

Anton Diffring (Georges Bonner)
Hazel Court (Janine Dubois)
Christopher Lee (Pierre Gerard)
Arnold Marle (Ludwig)
Delphi Lawrence (Margo)
Francis De Wolff (Inspector Legris)
Gerda Larsen [street girl – uncredited]
Charles Lloyd Pack [art lover – uncredited]
Ronald Adam *
Marie Burke *
John Harrison *
Ian Hewitson *
Frederick Rawlings *
Michael Ripper *
Denis Shaw *
Barry Shawzin *
Lockwood West *
Middleton Woods *

Alternative Titles

Den Tod überlistet – Germany
L’uomo che ingannò la morte – Italy

See also
Hour of Mystery: The Man in Half Moon Street (1957)
The Man in Half Moon Street (1944)



  • Castle of Frankenstein no.7 p.46
  • Castle of Frankenstein no.17 p.31
  • The Daily Cinema no.8163 (8 June 1959) p.4 – review
  • Film Daily vol.115 no.119 (23 June 1959) p.6 – review
  • Film User vol.16 no.189 (July 1962) p.328 – review
  • The Hollywood Reporter vol.155 no.29 (19 June 1959) p.3 – review
  • The House That Hammer Built no.2 (April 1997) pp.96-99 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • The House That Hammer Built no.10 (October 1998) p.98 – note
  • Kine Weekly 11 June 1959 p.8 – review
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.26 no.306 (July 1959) p.90 – credits, synopsis, review
  • Motion Picture Herald vol.215 no.13 (27 June 1959) p.316 – review
  • Radio Times vol.245 no.3187 (8-14 December 1984) pp.31; 68 – short review (Films by Geoff Brown); credits
  • Variety 24 May 1959 – credits, review


  • The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror by Phil Hardy (ed.) p.115
  • British Sound Films: The Studio Years 1928-1959 by David Quinlan p.344 – credits, synopsis
  • Censored Screams: The British Ban on Hollywood Horror in the Thirties by Tom Johnson pp.185 – notes
  • The Charm of Evil: The Life and Films of Terence Fisher by Wheeler Winston Dixon pp.354-360; 519 – notes; credits
  • The Christopher Lee Filmography by Tom Johnson and Mark A. Miller pp.82-84
  • English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby pp.5, 75, 77-78, 78, 85, 354
  • Euro Gothic: Classics of Continental Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby p.109
  • The Films of Christopher Lee by Robert W. Pohle and Douglas C. Hart pp.72-74
  • Hammer Complete: The Films, the Personnel, the Company by Howard Maxford pp.531-533 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films III by Donald C. Willis p.171-172
  • Horrorshows: The A-Z of Horror in Film, TV, Radio and Theatre by Gene Wright p.58 – credits, review
  • Lord of Misrule (new edition) by Christopher Lee p.183
  • Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Film Sequels, Series, and Remakes by Kim R. Holston and Tom Winchester p.325-327
  • Terence Fisher by Peter Hutchings pp.98, 102, 117 – notes
  • Terence Fisher: Horror, Myth and Religion by Paul Leggett pp.9, 119-122, 128, 137, 170 – notes
  • Uneasy Dreams: The Golden Age of British Horror Films, 1956-1976 by Gary A. Smith p.148