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Welcome to William Schoell's GREAT OLD MOVIES blog. Feel free to leave a comment regardless of the date the review was posted -- I read 'em all. Or if you prefer -- and especially if you have any questions directly for me -- email me at tawses67424@mypacks.net and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Click on a label link (labels can be found at the bottom of each post) to find other movies from that year, the star, that director or genre and so on. Or enter a title, director, genre, star or supporting player in the small Blogger "search blog" box at the far left up above and click search blog. [NOTE: While this blog mostly reviews films -- and TV shows -- that are at least twenty-five years old, we do cover films up until the present day.] HAVE FUN AND THANKS FOR DROPPING BY. William.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

THE MAN WHO COULD CHEAT DEATH

Anton Diffring gets a little pop-eyed and who can blame him?
THE MAN WHO COULD CHEAT DEATH (1959). Director: Terence Fisher.

Dr. Georges Bonner (Anton Diffring) a doctor and sculptor, is anxiously awaiting the arrival of an old friend and colleague, Dr. Ludwig Weiss (Arnold Marle). No wonder -- Bonner looks to be in his thirties but is actually over a century old, and only Weiss can give him the operation he needs to keep himself looking young. This is of particular importance now as Bonner has fallen in love with Janine Du Bois (Hazel Court) and hopes to spend his life with her. In the meantime Bonner takes a certain fluid and resorts to murder to get at especially needed glands and hormones. This lively and absorbing remake of The Man in Half Moon Street is a rare case of a do-over being superior to the original, in large part to Diffring's vivid performance, equal parts charm and desperation, and the adroit direction of Terence Fisher. Court and Christopher Lee (as a surgeon and rival for Janine) are also notable, as is Marle as the elderly Weiss. The movie is handled with a great deal of dramatic intensity and Diffring plays it to the hilt.

Verdict: Very effective Hammer horror film. ***.


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