X - the Man With the X-Ray Eyes (1963)

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X - the Man With the X-Ray Eyes (1963)

Post  BoG on Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:47 pm

Ray Milland stars as a scientist who is dissatisfied with the amount of spectrum that the human eye can see. According to him, we humans can see only 10% of what exists in the universe. Driven by his obsessive curiosity, he develops a formula in eye drops which expands the capabilities of human eyes. The film begins with a lengthy holding shot of a bloody eye, holding almost a minute, giving us the impression that were in for some cheesy stuff. The title is simply "X" not "The Man With the X-Ray Eyes."  But, most of the film is like a scientific exploration - of course, it involves radical, outlandish theories, but it's like watching a scientist steadily accruing knowledge as the film proceeds. We see his point of view as his eyes become more and more advanced - at first simple stuff like seeing through clothes and paper, but then psychedelic representations of things that man was possibly not meant to know. Roger Corman himself was not satisfied with the FX but, for its time, it was well done. Milland's character shows himself to be impatient and impulsive with the very first test (aided by his optics doctor buddy, played by Harold J. Stone): after the first drops are placed in his eyes and he can see through things, he can't wait another minute to place more drops in his eyes. This informs the theme for the rest of the film - trying to get knowledge too quickly and paying the price. This was a fairly provocative story from writers Robert Dillon, Ray Russell and producer-director Roger Corman, known mainly for exploitation.  BoG's Score: 7 out of 10

X-Trivia: This won for best film - the Silver Spaceship - at the First International Festival of Science Fiction Films at Trieste in 1963. Milland's character is named Dr. Xavier, just like that of Professor X in the X-Men films and comic books.
Star Trek TOS Actor Alert: John Hoyt co-stars as a doctor; about a year later, he acted as the doctor in the first Star Trek pilot, The Cage

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