The Man Who Could Cheat Death (1959) - Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

Hohum Score



A centenarian artist and scientist in 1890 Paris maintains his youth and health by periodically replacing a gland with that of a living person.

IMDB: 6.3
Director: Terence Fisher
Stars: Anton Diffring, Hazel Court
Length: 83 Minutes
PG Rating: N/A
Reviews: 7 out of 30 found boring (23.33%)

One-line Reviews (25)

While all this is pretty exciting stuff, the execution left an awful lot to be desired.

Tepid mix of Jack the Ripper and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, but still enjoyable .

Enjoyable Hammer horror outing .

Despite the rather slow and uneventful first hour, "The Man Who Could Cheat Death" benefices from an exciting finale with a few gruesome moments and provocative make-up effects for the time.

I also thought there were patches where the film was a bit too slow and there's no question that the film needed a bit more energy.

A fine film well worth watching.

because THE MAN WHO COULD CHEAT DEATH is a fairly bland film compared to what we get nowadays .

Arnold Marlé and Diffring have the most intense scenes in the film because we witness the disintegration of a friendship, evaporating over the unethical and immoral practices of Bonner—Bonner, clinging to his immortal status, not allowing, if he can help it, the failure of others, preferably Gerrard, to provide the services he demands.

While this film does occasionally get bogged down in too much talk, it nonetheless still rates as extremely intelligent and entertaining fright fare just the same.

This Hammer production has a rather interesting idea and there arew a few creepy moments but sadly the film is dragged down a bit by a somewhat bland screenplay as well as some less than stellar direction by Terrence Fisher.

The film does offer up a couple good performances and the "monster" is quite effective so that there makes it worth watching.

Anyway, having just watched the earlier movie, it is quite clear which is the superior version since Jimmy Sangster's excellent script deals far more thoroughly with the themes inherent in Lyndon's source…which, as mentioned in my review of the original, draws quite a bit from Oscar Wilde's "The Picture Of Dorian Gray" – though, this being Hammer, the horror aspect (aided by Fisher's typically full-blooded handling and Diffring's intense characterization) is a lot more pronounced.

All I know is that I found myself being rather bored towards the end and it's not one of Hammer's finer moments.

Eternal life is a boring matter and I should have hoped the guys in charge of programming at the Cinemathèque would have known better.

It is rather slow and talkie at times although it does have its moments, especially near the end.

With that said, THE MAN WHO COULD CHEAT DEATH is entertaining enough to make it worth watching.

It's a little confusing, granted.

On seconds let's analyse this a bit further - it'd probably be fairly bland compared to what the studio were also making from the same period .

Both Jack Asher's vibrant color cinematography and Richard Rodney Bennett's rousing score are both up to par.

"The Man Who Could Cheat Death" is certainly entertaining, with the kind of period recreation and atmosphere that the Hammer studio always did so well.

Acting is not convincing,being grimacing,boring and talky(about the fear of dying).

This is a fascinating study of a megalomaniac so consumed with his own immortality that he doesn't consider the people that he loves with desires so selfish and cunning.

And each from this details transforms the film in a comfortable horror, with predictable end, keeping each nuance of a period's sensitivity.

Tedious .

Director Terence Fisher relates the compelling story at a steady pace, offers a flavorsome evocation of the late 19th century period setting, stages the fiery climax with exciting aplomb, and does a nice job of conjuring up a reasonable amount of misty'n'spooky atmosphere in a few back alley scenes.