X: The Man with the X-ray Eyes
|X: The Man with the X-ray Eyes|
Theatrical release poster by Reynold Brown
|Directed by||Roger Corman|
|Produced by||Roger Corman|
|Music by||Les Baxter|
|Edited by||Anthony Carras|
|Distributed by||American International Pictures|
|Box office||53,087 admissions (France)|
X: The Man with the X-ray Eyes is a 1963 science fiction/horror film. Directed by Roger Corman from a script by Ray Russell and Robert Dillon, the film stars Ray Milland as Dr. James Xavier. A world-renowned scientist, Dr. Xavier experiments with X-ray vision and things go horribly wrong. While most of the cast are relatively unknown, Don Rickles is notable in an uncharacteristically dramatic role. Veteran character actor Morris Ankrum makes an uncredited appearance, his last in the movie industry. American International Pictures released the film as a double feature with Dementia 13.
Shot in a mere three weeks on a budget of under $300,000, Corman described the film's success as a miracle. The movie was notable for its use of visual effects to portray Dr. Xavier's point of view. While crude by later standards, the visuals are still effective in impressing upon the audience the bizarre viewpoint of the protagonist.
Dr. Xavier develops eyedrops intended to increase the range of human vision, allowing one to see beyond the "visible" spectrum into the ultraviolet and x-ray wavelengths and beyond. Believing that testing on animals and volunteers will produce uselessly subjective observations, he tests the drops on himself.
Initially, Xavier discovers that he can see through people's clothing, and he uses his vision to save a young girl whose medical problem was misdiagnosed. Over time and with continued use of the drops, Xavier's visual capacity increases and his ability to control it decreases. Eventually he can no longer see the world in human terms, but only in forms of lights and textures that his brain is unable to fully comprehend. Even closing his eyes brings no relief from the darkness in his frightening world, as he can see through his eyelids.
After accidentally killing a friend, Xavier goes on the run, using his x-ray vision first to work in a carnival, and then to win at gambling in a Las Vegas casino. Xavier's eyes are altered along with his vision: first they become black and gold, and then entirely black. To hide his startling appearance, he wears dark wrap-around sunglasses at all times.
Leaving Las Vegas, Xavier drives out into the desert and wanders into a religious tent revival. He tells the evangelist that he is beginning to see things at the edges of the universe, including an "eye that sees us all" in the center of the universe. The pastor replies that what he sees is "sin and the devil" and quotes the Biblical verse, "If thine eye offends thee... pluck it out!" Xavier chooses to blind himself rather than see anything more.
- Ray Milland - Dr. James Xavier
- Diana Van der Vlis - Dr. Diane Fairfax
- Harold J. Stone - Dr. Sam Brant
- John Hoyt - Dr. Willard Benson
- Don Rickles - Crane
- Barboura Morris - Nurse with young patient (uncredited)
In other media
- Gold Key: X: The Man with the X-ray Eyes (September 1963)
- British band Bauhaus have a song referencing the movie in their 1981 album Mask.
- Roger Corman & Jim Jerome, How I Made a Hundred Movies in Hollywood and Never lost a Dime, Muller, 1990 p 117
- Box office information for Roger Corman films in France at Box Office Story
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 9, 2015. Retrieved September 16, 2015.
- "Gold Key: X: The Man with the X-ray Eyes". Grand Comics Database.
- Gold Key: X: The Man with the X-ray Eyes at the Comic Book DB
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