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False Faces

USA 1932. Dir: Lowell Sherman. 81 min. DCP

An unscrupulous and unqualified plastic surgeon wreaks havoc in False Faces, a delirious mix of sophisticated comedy and grotesque horror inspired by a real-life charlatan whose clients included legendary performer Fanny Brice (Barbra Streisand’s character in Funny Girl). Professional screen cad Lowell Sherman directs and stars as quack surgeon and chronic seducer-of-women Silas Benton; Peggy Shannon, Lila Lee, Nance O’Neil, and Geneva Mitchell appear among his harem of conquests and victims. “False Faces has it all: drunken showgirls spilling out of their dresses; doctors too stoned to operate safely; shady detectives on the lookout for easy marks; jaded reporters, slutty secretaries, and patients crippled for life. A natural ham, Sherman powers through every scene, dripping with oily charm ... For sheer jaw-dropping incredulity, False Faces can't be beat” (Daniel Eagan, Film Journal International).

— preceded by —

Hearst Metrotone News, Vol. 4, No. 226 (1932) • Short newsreel. 9 min.
Snow White (1933) • Fleisher Studios Betty Boop cartoon. Dir: Dave Fleischer. 7 min.