A Stolen Face

1952

Terence Fisher
Director
Hammer Films
Studio

Plastic surgeon Henreid has a fling with concert pianist Scott, who is running away from her upcoming tour and marriage. She breaks off the affair, but he can't let it go. So he takes his next patient,a disfigured criminal, and gives her his former lover's face. Unfortunately, a new face doesn't change old habits.

Often said to be Hammer's first horror film, it really is more of a film noir, with faint echoes of Dark Passage and Rebecca, and future hints of such films as Les yeux sans visage. The cast is generally good, especially Mackenzie as the patient whose face is remade and Morell as Scott's fiancé. Henreid is affably stiff, as always, while Scott tries, but the emotional range required of her character is just out of reach. Plus for most of the film she is really just a vehicle for Mackenzie's voice.

There is a subtle and unsavory, but oh so British, undertone here that all the denizens of the lower classes are criminal scum and will remain that way even if exposed to the rarified atmosphere of the upper classes. Of course, the worst person here is Henreid's morally corrupt doctor, and everyone toadies to him merely because of that prefix to his name.

-Dave W.



24th April 1952
Cinema



72 mins
1.37:1


25th July 2006
DVD


72 mins




HyperLink
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Paul Henreid
Dr. Philip Ritter
Lizabeth Scott
Alice Brent
André Morell
David
Mary Mackenzie
Lily Conover
John Wood
Dr. John "Jack" Wilson
Alexis France
Mrs. Emmett
Susan Stephen
Betty
Arnold Ridley
Dr. Russell
Cyril Smith
Alf Bixby, The Dog and Duck Landlord
Diana Beaumont
May
Terence O'Regan
Pete Snipe
Russell Napier
Detective Inspector Cutler
Ambrosine Phillpotts
Miss Patton
(as Ambrosine Phillpots)
Everley Gregg
Lady Millicent Harringay
John Bull
Charles Emmett
Richard Wattis
Wentworth
Dorothy Bramhall
Miss Simpson, the Receptionist
Janet Burnell
Maggie Bixby
Grace Gavin
Presurgical Nurse
William Murray
Floor Walker
John Warren
Railway Guard
Anna Turner
Maid
Hal Osmond
Photographer
Philip Vickers
US Soldier on Train
James Valentine
US Sailor on Train
Howard Douglas
1st Farmer
Robert Brooks Turner
2nd Farmer
(as Brookes Turner)
Bartlett Mullins
3rd Farmer
(uncredited)
Unknown
Inn Patron
Unknown Female 2
Inn Patron
Unknown
Inn Patron
Unknown
Inn Patron
Unknown Female 6
Inn Patron
Unknown
Nurse Attending Bandage Removal
Jack Parnell
Drummer in Jazz Club
(uncredited)
Ronnie Scott
Tenor Saxophonist in Jazz Club
(uncredited)
John Lynn
Jazz Club Patron
(uncredited)
Hilda Green
Jazz Club Patron
(uncredited)
Jack Arrow
Jazz Club Patron
(uncredited)
Unknown
Store Detective
Unknown
Disgusted Train Passenger
Fletcher Lightfoot
Disgusted Train Passenger
(uncredited)
Unknown
Train Steward
Palais Garnier
Itself
(archival footage)

Dave Wright: Screencaps & Notes
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