X: THE MAN WITH THE X-RAY EYES (1963) movie review

X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes (1963) d. Corman, Roger (USA)

In the midst of his Gothic heyday, Roger Corman unveiled one of his strongest and strangest films, one that continues to hold up four decades later, in spite of minimal effects and other budgetary woes. Singularly compelling, the Robert Dillion-Ray Russell script unfolds an allegorical plot that revolves around Ray Milland’s Dr. Xavier, a dogged researcher who discovers a way of seeing through walls, surgery patients’ chest cavities, and ladies clothing.

Forced to flee following a tragic accident, he falls in with a carnival con-man huckster (played with delicious unctuousness by Don Rickles), then heads off to break the banks in Vegas. But as he zealously pursues his, ahem, vision, Milland becomes increasingly fixated with seeing further and further, eventually leading to the heart of the universe and an utterly unforgettable climax.

While I'm not one to advocate for remakes, with advances in technology, it could be interesting to see what a modern, sensitive director could do with this material – examining and expanding upon the moral and emotional implications as well as showing viewers what lies beneath the epidermis.


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