Eyes Without a Face (1960)

From Television and Film Character Encyclopedia

A plastic surgeon and his assistant kidnap young women in order to steal their faces to replace his daughter's damaged face.


Genre

Horror, Drama

Characters/Groups

Doctor Genessier - Pierre Brasseur

Louise - Alida Valli

Edna Gruber - Juliette Mayniel

Inspector Parot - Alexandre Rignault

Paulette Merodon - Beatrice Altariba

The Man in the Pound - Blavette

Inspector - Claude Brasseur

Forensic Surgeon - Michel Etcheverry

Mother of Sick Child - Yvette Etievent

Henri Tessot - Rene Genin

Man at Funeral - Lucien Hubert

Man at Funeral - Marcel Peres

Jacques Vernon - Francois Guerin

Christiane Genessier - Edith Scob

Character thumbnails with links to profiles

Detailed Synopsis

Louise is driving her car at night when she uses her rear view mirror to stare at the faceless body sitting in the back. She drives to a reservoir and then dumps the body in the water. After giving a presentation on the possibilities of physical rejuvenation using the heterograft procedure, or taking skin tissue from individuals and transplanting them to another, Doctor Genessier is told that he received a call from the morgue. At the Office of the Medical Examiner, the Forensic Surgeon and Inspector Parot are discussing the body found in the reservoir and how it matches the wounds that Doctor Genessier's daughter, Christiane Genessier had after the accident she was in. The Forensic Surgeon argues that the body also fits that of Simone Tessot, who had gone missing. They both find it odd that the body was found naked, other than wearing a coat, and also that it had a large open wound on its face. Doctor Genessier arrives and is greeted by the Forensic Surgeon and Parot. They take him to the identification room and Doctor Genessier identifies the body as being that of Christiane. As Doctor Genessier is leaving the office, he passes Henri Tessot, who asks him if he is sure that the body belongs to Christiane and not Simone. Doctor Genessier tells Tessot, the body is that of Christiane and tells Tessot that at least he has hope of finding Simone alive.

While walking along the streets of Paris, Louise follows Edna Gruber and her friends and overhears that Edna is looking for a room to rent. At Christiane's funeral, Man at Funeral comments to another Man at Funeral, that Doctor Genessier looks more like his father as he ages and the other Man at Funeral comments on the bad luck his father and Doctor Gennessier have had. Doctor Genessier tells Christiane's fiance, Jacques Vernon to go home and after he leaves, Louise asks Doctor Genessier to leave, but he refuses. They drive to Doctor Genessier's villa and after dropping off Louise, Doctor Genessier parks the vehicle to the loud sound of barking dogs. He goes to Christiane's room, who is still alive, and chastises her for not wearing her mask after finding a notice of her funeral by her bed. She asks him what he has done and he tells her, it is all for her. He says that one day he will succeed in repairing her face, but she doesn't believe it. Louise brings Christiane food and tells her to have faith in Doctor Genessier as he succeeded in repairing her face and Christiane comments the procedure she needed was not as extreme as hers. Christiane calls Jacques' phone number, but when he answers, she doesn't say anything. At the theater, Louise tells Edna, who is waiting in line, she has an extra ticket. As time goes on, she tells Edna, she knows a room that is available to rent and invites her to see it. They drive to Doctor Genessier's villa. Louise introduces Edna to Doctor Genessier and when Edna seems suspicious, Doctor Genessier uses a chemical to make her unconscious. Her body is dragged to a medical lab in the basement of the villa and Doctor Genessier tells Louise, this time the surgery will work. Christiane, who had been following them, goes into the basement and looks at the unconscious body of Edna, before going to pet the dogs, who are locked up in cages. She goes back into the surgery room and takes off her mask and Edna wakes up and screams when she sees Christiane's face.

After dinner, Doctor Genessier performs surgery and removes the face of Edna and transplants it onto Christiane. Doctor Genessier gets a new dog from The Man in the Pound and then takes it down to the basement and places it in a cage. Louise tells Doctor Genessier that the operation seems to be a success, but Doctor Genessier is hesitant to believe it. Edna wakes up from surgery and knocks Louise unconscious with a bottle when Louise brings her food. She tries to escape, but commits suicide when she can't escape. Doctor Genessier and Louise drive Edna's body to the cemetery and bury it in the family crypt. Edna's friend goes to the police and tells Parot that she is missing and the woman who had talked to her always wore a thick pearl necklace. An Inspector walks up to Parot and Parot shows him the photo of Edna and Parot notes she looks similar to the ones that went missing before. The Inspector asks Parot what he should do with his current case, a shoplifter named Paulette Merodon, and Perot tells him to let her go, but get her address in case it comes in handy later. At dinner, Doctor Genessier applauds his success and tells Christiane she can soon get a new identity and continue her life. She asks about Jacques, and Doctor Genessier tells her he will tell him about her being alive, but it will pose a problem. He is called away for a medical reason and as he kisses Christiane's head, he notices it has started to change color in one spot. As he and Louise walk to the hospital, Louise tells him she noticed he looked anxious and he tells her he failed once more. As the days go by, Christiane's face starts to rot away.

Doctor Genessier continues his experiments on the dogs, transferring patches of skin from one to another which succeeds. Christiane calls Jacques once again and this time says his name before Louise catches her and hangs up the phone. Christiane tells Louise she wishes she were dead and begs Louise to give her drugs so she can commit suicide. Jacques goes to the police and tells Parot he heard Christiane's voice over the phone. Parot makes a comment about not acting on feelings and as he is reading off sworn statements, he comments on the pearl necklace, which Jacques recognizes Louise of wearing. The Inspector calls Paulette back to the station and tells her she will have to go to trial. Parot walks over and tells her arrangements can be made to avoid a trial if she works with them. He then has the Inspector brief her on the details. Parot then calls Jacques and tells him of the plan. While visiting a patient, Doctor Genessier sees Paulette and becomes interested in her. He then visits a child patient and tells the Mother of Sick Child that the child will be okay, but tells Jacques the child will not recover. Paulette has tests run on her and Doctor Genessier notes she seems healthy. Paulette is released and as she is leaving, Louise drives up to her and offers to drive her to the train station and she is kidnapped. Jacques calls Parot and lets him know Paulette was released. During surgery to remove Paulette's face, Louise tells Doctor Genessier that Parot and the Inspector are there to see him. He tells them that Paulette was released and they then leave. Paulette wakes up on the operating table and Christiane sets her free and then stabs Louise in the throat with a scalpel. Christiane walks to the caged dogs and sets them free. As Doctor Genessier opens the basement door he is attacked by the dogs and killed. Christiane also frees a group of doves and walks by the corpse of Doctor Genessier.