Night Has A Thousand Eyes

  • 1948
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Mystery

This film is scary and so well done that it approaches classic film noir status, even though the premise is harebrained and out on a limb. After Lund has saved his fiancee Russell from committing suicide, the couple contact spiritualist Robinson, who meets them in a restaurant where he is told that Russell's attempt was caused by his vision of her lying...read more

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This film is scary and so well done that it approaches classic film noir status, even though the premise is harebrained and out on a limb. After Lund has saved his fiancee Russell from committing suicide, the couple contact spiritualist Robinson, who meets them in a restaurant where he is

told that Russell's attempt was caused by his vision of her lying beneath the stars. Believing that this vision, along with Robinson's other too-accurate predictions, meant her death, she tried to end her life rather than wait for the inevitable. Robinson explains that he has been cursed with a

gift not only to see the future but also to predict especially tragic events, chiefly death. In flashback we see Robinson as a stage spiritualist assisted by Bruce. One night he has a sudden vision and tells a woman in the audience to rush home, that her small boy is about to die in a fire. The

child is saved, but the incident frightens Robinson, even though he casually but accurately picks racetrack winners for his partner Cowan, which makes the partner rich. Subsequently Robinson envisions Bruce dying in childbirth, and the vision so unnerves him that he quits the act and retreats to

an abandoned mine where he lives for five years as a hermit. He then learns that Bruce married Cowan, now a famous industrialist, and did indeed die in childbirth. Another vision shakes him; he sees Cowan dying in a plane crash during a coast-to-coast speed contest. Robinson moves to Los Angeles

to be near Cowan and his child, Russell, and tries to communicate with them, warning Russell that her father is about to meet his death. He begs Russell to stop Cowan's flight. Lund thinks Robinson is cracked, but Russell believes him and vainly tries to halt the flight. Her father dies, and then

Robinson falls into deep depression when he envisions Russell's own death by accident. Flash forward to the present: Lund now expresses his anger. He has had enough. First Robinson obliquely predicted Russell's suicide, now he is saying she will die in an accident. Lund goes to the police and has

Robinson arrested. A case against the seer is strengthened when police learn that Cowan's plane was tampered with. Robinson, meanwhile, is growing desperate, begging police to release him so he can save Russell. He convinces his captors that he is genuine when he correctly predicts a prisoner's

suicide. He is freed and rushes to Russell's home, arriving just in time to prevent one of Cowan's crooked partners--the man who sabotaged the plane--from shooting Russell. As he dashes forward to save Russell, the police on hand mistake his motives and fatally shoot him. In Robinson's pocket, the

police find a note in which he predicted his own death.

NIGHT HAS A THOUSAND EYES is packed with suspense and is expertly directed by Farrow, with Robinson giving a superb performance. Young's score is eerie and exceptional, setting the chilling tone for the movie, and Seitz's shadowy camerawork lends just the right atmosphere to all the creepy

possibilities presented by Robinson's futuristic gaze. The ability to see the future, particularly a future full of death and destruction, has been the theme for many films, including some others starring Robinson. He appeared as a man afflicted by lethal vision in FLESH AND FANTASY and NIGHTMARE,

in addition to NIGHT HAS A THOUSAND EYES. Claude Rains suffered the same gift in one of the classics of this genre, THE CLAIRVOYANT, only his specialty was major disasters. George Macready was burdened with the soothsayer curse in I LOVE A MYSTERY, as were Mervyn Johns in the classic British

thriller DEAD OF NIGHT, Michael Hordern in THE NIGHT MY NUMBER CAME UP, and Dick Powell in IT HAPPENED TOMORROW.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: This film is scary and so well done that it approaches classic film noir status, even though the premise is harebrained and out on a limb. After Lund has saved his fiancee Russell from committing suicide, the couple contact spiritualist Robinson, who meets… (more)

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