Phony mentalist John Triton (Edward G. Robinson, Little Caesar) develops true precognition during one of his acts. Triton soon finds out that foreseeing the future is not much fun at all. Haunted by visions of death and doom, he realizes that he’s unable to prevent bad things from happening. Bitter and confused, Triton goes into hiding. Twenty years later, a new vision gives Triton an opportunity to challenge fate. Would he succeed?
Reaction & Thoughts:
Based upon Cornell Woolrich’s suspenseful short story and directed by John Farrow (Hondo), Night Has a Thousand Eyes reminded me of The Clairvoyant (1934) and The Dead Zone (1983) — two great films about mediums. I tend to like films about psychics so I immediately got sucked into the film’s interesting storyline.
Night Has a Thousand Eyes also feels like an extended Twilight Zone episode (I mean it as a compliment). The structure of the film is good and both the camera work (by John F. Seitz, Sunset Boulevard) and music score (by Victor Young, For Whom the Bells Toll) are excellent. Seitz, in particular, should be commended for giving the movie a dense visual texture — aesthetically speaking, this is a rather interesting pots-war quasi-fantasy drama.
Robinson’s superb performance is the main reason to watch this intriguing film, though. He is terrific as a man destroyed by guilt. He narrates beautifully too.
Lovely Gail Russell (Angel and The Badman) is also excellent as the woman Robinson is trying to save. John Lund (A Foreign Affair) is a bit overshadowed by both Robinson and Russell. Character actor William Dearest (The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek) plays a cynical and skeptical police detective. The fine supporting cast also includes. Jerome Cowan (Mr. Skeffington), Richard Webb (Out of the Past), and Virginia Bruce (Born to Dance).
Conclusions & Final Thoughts:
Unfortunately, this Paramount production has fallen into public domain hell so the print is not very good. Good luck finding an acceptable print. Night Has a Thousand Eyes is an excellent thriller that deserves to be better known. B&W, 81 minutes, Not Rated.