A woman drives alone by a river and dumps a body into it. Later Doctor Génessier (Pierre Brasseur) is asked to identify the body. He says that it’s the body of his daughter Christiane Génessier (Édith Scob) who was in a car accident and disfigured. The death is ruled as suicide.
Following the funeral Doctor Génessier and his assistant Louise (Alida Valli), who happened to be the woman who dumped the body, continue their work. You see Christiane is still alive and the good doctor wants to restore her face – by using someone else’s!
Christiane is forced to live in hiding at her father’s massive estate. She’s also forced to wear a featureless mask over her disfigured face. Louise brings another young woman to the estate and soon Doctor Génessier is removing the woman’s face and transplanting it onto Christiane’s.
Director Georges Franju adapted the movie from a book by Jean Redon. The book was a little nastier and Franju toned down parts so that the film wouldn’t get into trouble with the French censors. The movie still caused quite a stir when it was released in theatres. And it’s still pretty nasty today. It’s also a brilliant creepy horror movie. My original post is here.