Stolen Face

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A doctor repairs a female inmate’s disfigured face to match the lovely woman who left him, and marries her, only to find out how abusive she is.

ACTORS :  Paul Henreid, Lizabeth Scott, André Morell

YEAR OF RELEASE :  1952

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Stolen Face  A plastic surgeon has a brief fling with a concert pianist, then she leaves him to go back to her previous boyfriend. In order to “keep” her, he operates on a patient–a female criminal on the run–and changes her face to duplicate his former lovers. Trouble ensues when the pianist returns to him.

Loved it!

Stolen Face  I saw it as a child and looked for it on video. Finally got a poor video of it, but i’m glad I own it. I really like this film, maybe it’s because I am a big fan of Lizabeth Scott….maybe I like English movies, I don’t know…I just like it!!! Yes, this film is dated, but it still works today.

Just suspend disbelief and enjoy

Stolen Face This is a British film marketed as a Film Noir movie, though I could see very little about the film that reminded me of this genre. Now this isn’t bad and I’m not complaining–after all, I did give the movie a 7. It just doesn’t have the tough dialog, moody lighting and camera work as well as the tough subject matter a true Noir film would have.

You might also be a bit surprised to see that it was made by Hammer Studios AND was directed by Terence Fisher–a man and studio known for horror films. Well, there is no sign of Christopher Lee or Peter Cushing in this one as it’s just an interesting romantic drama–the type film you would have been more likely to see in the earlier days of the studio.Paul Henreid and Lizabeth Scott star in this interesting film. However, if you do decide to watch it, try to suspend your sense of disbelief, as the film has a plot that couldn’t possibly happen in real life! Henreid is a very skilled plastic surgeon whose mission in life is to correct facial deformities in criminals. He reasons that given a new face, they can’t help but have a more positive attitude towards society and live a crime-free new life. However, he’s so dedicated to his work that he’s exhausted and is ordered to take a much-needed vacation. There, he meets the girl of his dreams, Lizabeth Scott. They are very much in love but she has some secret. Before finally telling him, she disappears and Henreid is disconsolate.

Now here’s where it gets really tough to swallow. Henreid’s next surgery is a weird one, as he deliberately makes this habitual criminal look exactly like Scott! Now making her with some similarity is believable, but to be the exact twin was just plain silly. They can’t do that today and they certainly couldn’t have done it in 1952! Despite Henreid’s belief that this lady will become a good person and a good wife, after marrying her she turns out to be a hard-living kleptomaniac–with no desire for redemption. Now at this point it even gets weirder–Scott shows up and both she and Henreid want to marry–but he’s stuck with the criminal wife. What happens next you’ll need to see for yourself.

The plot, though silly, was still very watchable and cool. I really liked every moment but also assure you that the film never really goes the Noir route–especially the ending.

By the way, one reviewer went on about how he hated Ms. Scott. While she was never one of my favorites, I really think this film was a wonderful showcase for her–letting her play two totally different characters–one a criminal with an English accent and the other a sophisticated American concert pianist. She did a very good job and the film, for its budget, was very good.

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