The Man Who Could Cheat Death (1959) starring Anton Diffring, Hazel Court, Christopher Lee
In The Man Who Could Cheat Death, a man experiments with immortality. But he must have a gland operation every ten years. Otherwise, he’llrevert to his true age and die a horrible death.
Dr. Georges Bonner: [to Weiss] You’re old. You can see death staring you in the face, but I can’t. I’m not going to die!
It’s not so much The Man Who Could Cheat Death as “the man who could hold death at bay for a while”.
- He needs a gland transplant every 10 years. And he’s already past that point. And, the emergency serum that he’s taking in the meanwhile is only good for a maximum of four weeks.
- It also leads to mental instability, which may explain the various murders.
- He’s actually terrified of death, unlike his old friend Ludwig.
- Anton Diffring (The Blue Max) … Dr. Georges Bonnet. The titular “man who could cheat death”. He’s been cheating death, with the help of Ludwig, for a century. It’s clear that he’s terrified of death, and is willing to go to any length to keep extending his life. He’s willing to kill a former lover, once she she’s him beginning to age before taking his emergency serum. It’s unclear how much of his mania is natural, and how much is due to the side effects of the serum.
- Hazel Court (Premature Burial, The Raven) … Janine Du Bois. Georges’ current true love. She’s unaware of his secret. Which is a good thing, since he’d be likely to attempt to kill her. In fact …
- Christopher Lee (Horror of Dracula, The Three Musketeers) … Dr. Pierre Gerrard. The nice young doctor, clearly still in love with Janine. He’s blackmailed into performing the gland transplant on Georges. But, he has a trick up his sleeve …
- Arnold Marlé (The Abominable Snowman) … Dr. Ludwig Weiss. Georges’ old friend — literally. He and Georges jointly invented the procedure decades ago. But now, he’s too old to successfully perform the operation. And he notices the change in his old friend’s mental state …. A very good performance.
- Delphi Lawrence … Margo Philippe. The attractive young lady, who makes the fatal mistake of seeing him before taking his emergency serum.
- Francis De Wolff (The Hound of the Baskervilles 1959) … Inspector Legris. The detective, working on a series of murders.
Dr. Georges Bonnet has figured out a way to live forever. All he needs are the glands of some very unwilling donors! Anton Diffring stars as the mad doctor in this chilling Hammer Horror classic. As he struggles against the inevitable icy grip of death, the doctor begins a descent into madness that threatens to destroy the laws of nature and the lives of those he lusts after. It’s up to horror legend Christopher Lee to stop his unholy quest before it takes a final deadly turn!