The Man Who Could Cheat Death (UK 1959)

Rating: **
Review Date: 7/1/13
Director: Terence Fisher
Cast: Anton Diffring, Hazel Court, Christopher Lee

A lesser film from Hammer Studios, but with all of the visual flourishes that define their style. Anton Diffring is a brilliant surgeon who has discovered the secret of immortality. Unfortunately, this requires the surgical replacement of a certain gland every ten years, and acquiring the glands inevitably leads to murder. Things get worse when the only surgeon who knows how to perform the procedure is unable to, which forces Diffring to coerce an unwilling Christopher Lee into performing the operation. In the middle of this is a doomed love triangle involving the beautiful Hazel Court. It's a classy, attractive, and well made production, but the pacing is sluggish and the horror elements are overstated and underplayed. However, the iconic scene of Diffring's eyes bugging out is quite creepy and very effective.