- Directors: Georges Franju
- Producers: Jules Borkon
- Writers: Pierre Boileau, Thomas Narcejac, Jean Redon, Claude Sautet, Georges Franju
- Genres: Drama, Horror, Thriller
- Actors: Pierre Brasseur, Alida Valli, Edith Scob, Juliette Mayniel
At night just outside Paris, a woman (Alida Valli) drives along a riverbank, and disposes of a corpse in the river. After the body is recovered, Dr. GÃ©nessier (Pierre Brasseur) identifies the remains as those of his missing daughter, Christiane GÃ©nessier (Edith Scob), whose face was horribly disfigured in an automobile accident that occurred before her disappearance. Louise and Dr GÃ©nessier live in a large mansion, which is adjacent to the clinic, with numerous caged German Shepherd’s (Alsatians) and other large dogs.
Following Christiane’s funeral, GÃ©nessier and his assistant Louise, the woman who had disposed of the dead body earlier, return home where the real Christiane is hidden. The body belonged to a young woman that died following Dr. GÃ©nessier’s unsuccessful attempt to graft her face onto his daughter’s. GÃ©nessier promises to restore Christiane’s face and insists that she wear a mask to cover her disfigurement. After her father leaves the room, Christiane calls her fiance Jacques Vernon (FranÃ§ois GuÃ©rin), who works with Dr. GÃ©nessier at his clinic, but hangs up without saying a word.
Louise lures a young female student named Edna Gruber (Juliette Mayniel) to GÃ©nessier’s home, by promising her accomodation from friends of hers. GÃ©nessier chloroforms Edna and takes her to his secret laboratory, where he performs heterograft surgery, removing her face. The doctor successfully grafts the skin on his daughter’s face and holds the heavily bandaged and faceless Edna against her will. Edna escapes but falls to her death from an upstairs window. After disposing of Edna’s corpse, GÃ©nessier notices flaws on Christiane’s face. Her face grows worse within days; the new tissue is being rejected and she must resort to wearing her mask again. Christiane again phones Jacques and this time says his name, but the phone call is interrupted by Louise.
Jacques reports the call to the police, who have been investigating the disappearance of several young women with blue eyes and similar facial characteristics. The police have gained a lead concerning a woman who wears a pearl choker, whom Jacques recognizes as Louise. Inspector Parot asks a young woman named Paulette MÃ©rodon (Beatrice Altariba) to help investigate by checking herself into GÃ©nessier’s clinic. After being declared healthy, Paulette leaves for Paris and is promptly picked up by Louise, who delivers her to Dr. GÃ©nessier’s secret lab. GÃ©nessier is about to begin surgery on Paulette, when Louise informs him that the police want to see him. While the doctor talks with the police, Christiane, who has long been disenchanted with her father’s experiments, frees Paulette and stabs Louise in the neck. She also frees the dogs and doves that her father uses for experiments. Dr. GÃ©nessier dismisses the police and returns to his lab, where the dogs attack him, brutally disfiguring his face. Christiane walks slowly into the woods outside GÃ©nessier’s house with one of the freed doves on her hand.