It’s Hammer Time!: Stolen Face (1952)

Everyone who loves film – particularly dissecting film – loves Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 movie Vertigo. It’s inescapable, everywhere, a Freudian treasure trove that allows any film student with a modicum of psychological training to draw conclusion after conclusion about its meaning, its subtext, the director, man’s relationship with woman, the nature of death and obsession, and more.

Vertigo‘s plot concerns police officer James Stewart and his romance with the very blonde Kim Novak, whom he eventually sees fall to her death from a clock tower. When he sees a brunette a few months later who looks a whole lot like her, he woos this doppelgängerin and eventually begins to try to make her over to become his deceased lover.

I won’t spoil the rest of it for you, because this is It’s Hammer Time!, not Movies You Should Watch. But the reason I mention it is that six years before Vertigo was released, Hammer and director Terence Fisher came up with Stolen Face. In it, plastic surgeon Philip Ritter (Paul Henreid) falls in love with a gifted, beautiful and very blonde concert pianist Alice Brent (Lizabeth Scott). They meet and a romance soon develops. However, Alice is already engaged to be married and, afraid to tell Ritter, runs away.

She later calls him to tell him she is marrying David (André Morell). Meanwhile, Ritter has a new patient, Lily Conover (Mary Mackenzie), a female convict whose face is disfigured. Ritter believes he can change her criminal ways by making her look like Alice.

All very Vertigo-ish… and I won’t tell you how this one ends either. But’s it’s today’s movie, so enjoy!


  • Natalia Romanova

    The Gloria Steinem of the jumpsuit set. Russian ballerina-assassin. Redheaded Scarlett Johansson look-alike (yes, really. No, I won't send you photos). TMINE's publisher and Official Movie Reviewer in Residence. I've written for numerous magazines, including Death Ray and Filmstar, and I've been a contributor to TMINE since I was at university and first discovered I really wanted to write about movies, oh so many years ago. Sob.