The Man Who Could Cheat Death – 1959
A Hammer production released by Paramount Pictures
Copyright MCMLIX by Cadogan Films Ltd.
MPAA Approved Certificate No. 19176
RCA Sound Recording
Produced at Bray Studio
Colour by Technicolor 83 mins
Georges Bonner has a terrible secret. Although he has the appearance of someone in his thirties, he is in fact over a hundred years old! But his eternal youth comes at a price – every ten years he must undergo a pituitary gland transplant carried out by his scientific partner, Ludwig, and, in the period leading up to the operation, take a potion distilled from glands to stay alive.
Bonner is horrified when Ludwig, now an old man, arrives for the operation, but is unable to perform it because of a stroke he has just suffered. Desperate, and driven nearly insane by the fear of old age and death, he resorts to kidnapping, blackmail and murder in a last-ditch effort to force another surgeon, Pierre Gerard, to take Ludwig’s place.
Watch the original trailer on YouTube
The film was based on the play “The Man in Half Moon Street”, which had already been filmed by Paramount in 1944, with Nils Asther and Helen Walker and directed by Ralph Murphy.
Anton Diffring became a familiar face, usually playing Nazis in war films such as “The Heroes of Telemark” (1965) and “Where Eagles Dare” (1968). He also appeared in the occasional horror film, e.g. “Circus of Horrors” (1960) and Amicus’s “The Beast Must Die” (1974, with Peter Cushing).
His last film for Hammer was the Hong Kong based martial arts movie “Shatter” (1974); he also had the misfortune of starring in their doomed fiasco, the TV pilot “Tales of Frankenstein” (1958).
Details were complied viewing the actual film.
Source of viewing copy – The Hammer Graveyard Collection