Thursday, April 12, 2012

Stolen Face Stills

"Stolen Face" was produced by Hammer Studios the year before "Four Sided Triangle," a movie with a similar motive! In "Four Sided Triangle" a scientist duplicates his best friend's girl who he also loves, in "Stolen Face" a Doctor duplicates just the face of the woman he has been denied! Ironically, Sir Malcolm Arnold composed the music for both films!

Here's the Doctor driven mad with love, Paul Henreid as plastic surgeon Dr. Philip Ritter. Of course Paul will always be remembered for his role as Victor Laszlo in "Casablanca!" Paul also directed a lot of TV westerns in the 60's, and sometimes looks a lot like Richard Crenna!

This would be Mary Mackenzie as petty thief Lily Conover, a self-pitying convict in need of a boost of self-confidence only a plastic surgeon could bring her! Mary's career was cut short by a car accident at the age of 44!

Speakin' of freakin' car accidents, the Doc falls asleep at the wheel on the way back from the prison, and it's determined he needs a break!

So he heads off to the country for a few nights stay at the world famous "Dog And Duck!"

So's how's a Doctor supposed to relax in 1952? Well, with a cigarette and a bottle of Johnny Walker Red, what else? Smoking was so common back in the day, people would even be smoking at breakfast!

When the Doctor hears the person in the next room coughing, he decides he had better go check it out. Too bad, he doesn't have his stethoscope handy, he'll just have to listen to her chest the good olde-fashioned way!! Her name is Alice Brent, and she's played by Lizabeth Scott!

The British Doctor and the American concert pianist hit it off pretty good, both stay a couple of extra days, and since it's 1952, you can only assume they would, as T-Rex would sing years later, "go all the way!" They even go to a local pub, where she gets to show off her vast array of "musical skills", but then suddenly she leaves his life just as fast as she entered it, because it seems she's already engaged to be married! Okay, so it's not really that exciting yet, but...

Lost and alone again, the Doctor decides he can kill two birds with one stone, when he makes the decision to give Lily Conover the face of Alice Brent!

To make things right Dr. Ritter marries Lily after all the surgeries are completed, and he is one happy camper, except at this point, a minion of olde adages apply, like beauty is only skin deep, or you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink, or as Bo Diddley would so succinctly announce, you can't judge a book by lookin' at the cover!!!

Lizabeth Scott does a fantastic job in both roles, taking on two personalities with ease! There were no real monsters in Lizzie's career, but she was in "Scared Stiff" with Martin and Lewis, and co-starred with Elvis in the 1957 feature "Loving You!" Also before Hollywood she toured with the "Hellzapoppin'" road show! Born Emma Matso, Lizabeth will turn 90 this year!

Lily talks the Doc out of watching the boring opera, and they head on over to one of her old hangouts, and the joint is jumpin'! Two thirds of his time on screen, the Doctor is smoking!

The one downturn in the whole film is that this is the worst shot I've ever seen of any band ever, but the good thing is, Sir Malcolm's music is swinging! It's funny to me that when Hammer went from film noir to horror, the music went from swingin' to very serious and orchestrated. It's hard to imagine what the soundtrack from "Horror Of Dracula" or "Curse Of Frankenstein" would have sounded like if the music had been created by somebody like Peter Thomas!

Lily has no wants, but she has needs! The Doctor would buy her anything she wants, but just like any addict, she can't stop stealing! She didn't exactly buy that broach on her throat, and she's proud of it!

Alice, in the meantime, has been on the road, wowing the public, and coming to the conclusion that she doesn't love her devoted traveling partner, and fiancee any longer, and seeks out Dr. Ritter. When she sees the picture of who looks like her on his desk, he spills the beans on the whole lowdown of what he's done, and what a loser he is, and what a loser his wife is too!

Doing his best impersonation of Godzilla, the good Doctor takes crap from Lily one last time!

Let's just say the two women finally meet face to face on a train, there's a catfight, and in film noir terms, there is a happy ending for some of the characters, almost, kind of, depending on how you look at it!

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