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.

Note: Credits as listed are from UK version; the US credits are in different order, and only list nine names. John Warren and Frank Hawkins are listed by BFI as "commercial travelers," but it seems that scene was cut. Warren appears to be the railway guard in the final scene, but it might just be his voice dubbed in.

Thanks to Philly for correcting my usual errors!

-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
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
Janet Burnell
Maggie Bixby
Grace Gavin
Presurgical Nurse
William Murray
Floor Walker
John Warren
Railway Guard
(unconfirmed)
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)
Unknown
Lady Harringay's Chauffeur
Bartlett Mullins
3rd Farmer
Unknown
Inn Patron
Unknown
Inn Patron
Frank Schock
Inn Patron
Unknown
Inn Patron
Unknown Male 220
Inn Patron
Unknown
Inn Patron
Unknown
Inn Patron
Unknown
Inn Patron
Nan Kearns
Inn Patron
Unknown
Inn Patron
Unknown
Inn Patron
Unknown
Inn Patron
Unknown
Inn Patron
Unknown
Inn Patron
Unknown
Inn Patron
Unknown Female 6
Inn Patron
Unknown
Stagehand in Concert Montage
Joyce Everson
Nurse Attending Bandage Removal
Jack Parnell
Drummer in Jazz Club
Jimmy Deuchar
Trumpeter in Jazz Club
Ronnie Scott
Tenor Saxophonist in Jazz Club
Lennie Bush
Bassist in Jazz Club
John Lynn
Jazz Club Patron
Hilda Green
Jazz Club Patron
Unknown
Jazz Club Patron
Unknown
Jazz Club Barman
Jack Arrow
Jazz Club Patron
Unknown Male 14
Jazz Club Patron
Unknown
Shopper
(Robin Burns?)
Charles Gilliard
Passerby
Unknown
Store Detective
Unknown
Party Drunk
Frank Maher
Dancer at Party
Unknown
Disgusted Train Passenger
Fletcher Lightfoot
Disgusted Train Passenger
Unknown
Train Steward
Palais Garnier
Itself
(archival footage)

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