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The Man With the X-Ray Eyes (1963)

Renowned low-budget filmmaker Roger Corman directs this nightmarish tale of Dr. James Xavier (Milland), a scientist who develops an experimental form of eyedrops that enhance his vision. Initially he is able to see through people's clothing, but that's just the start of a process that soon goes completely out of control and becomes an ordeal for the ill-fated doctor, who's eventually driven insane by what he sees. Winner of a Best Film award in 1963 at the first-annual International Festival of Science Fiction Films.

This film could be compared to "4 D Man". Ray Milland (The Lost Weekend) is convincing as the scientist with the unique vision. Comic, Don Rickles, is good in a small role as a carnival employee. A scene, where Milland tests out his new X-ray vision at a party, is a lot of fun. The disturbing ending still packs some punch.

The cast includes: Ray Milland, Diana Van Der Vlis, Harold J. Stone, and Don Rickles.

Directed by Roger Corman.

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SYNOPSIS...

A doctor, who wants to help humanity, develops a new drug. He takes it himself and discovers he can see through things.

The doctor as first enjoys his new gift. He uses his new ability for his personal and financial gain. It causes him to deteriorate physically.

The doctor ends up using his ability in a carnival sideshow act. Despairing, he blinds himself.

Review:

Director Roger Corman's THE MAN WITH THE X-RAY EYES is a well made, low budget Sci-Fi fable.

Ray Milland ("The Lost Weekend") is Doctor Xavier. When he tries out an experimental drug on himself, he discovers he can see through objects.

My favorite scene is when Milland takes the drug and then goes to a party. Although we don't really see anything, Milland's fun at secretly seeing everybody buck naked is our fun too.

Ray Milland, who had appeared in many fine "A" movies, prior to this exploitation flick, gives a full out performance here. If he felt he was superior to this kind of material, it doesn't show in his performance.

Insult comedian, Don Rickles ("C.P.O. Sharkey") is surprisingly effective as a carnival worker. Harold J. Stone ("The Sting") and John Hoyt ("The Time Travelers") deliver sturdy performances as doctors Milland visits.

The Screenplay, by Robert Dillon and Ray Russell, has a strange, dream/nightmare quality to it. It also has the flavor and air of a modern-day Greek tragedy, which it basically is.

The pacing of this movie is quite good. Film Editor, Anthony Carras, deserves some of the credit.

Director of Photography, Floyd Crosby, makes good use of the film's premise to give us creative visuals. Milland's P.O.V. shots are especially clever and imaginative.

THE MAN WITH THE X-RAY EYES should be watchable for most Sci-Fi viewers. Milland fans will be well entertained. THE MAN WITH THE X-RAY EYES is well worth viewing. See ya at the video store.

If you liked THE MAN WITH THE X-RAY EYES you may enjoy ALTERED STATES and/or 4-D MAN.