NIGHT HAS A THOUSAND EYES (1948)
Article 1943 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 7-10-2006
Posting Date: 12-7-2006
Directed by John Farrow
Featuring Edward G.Robinson, Gail Russell, John Lund
A man with a mind reading act discovers he has the ability to see into the future. When he has a vision of the death of the daughter of a former lover, he tries to use his knowledge to save her.
The director of this movie, John Farrow, was responsible for ALIAS NICK BEAL, another dark drama with strong fantastic elements. This, along with the presence of one of my very favorite actors, Edward G. Robinson, made me hope for something special with this one, but I’m afraid I found myself a little disappointed by the results. Robinson does a fine job with his role, and I do like the movie’s serious approach to the story, even to the point of making sure that a potential comic relief character (Wiliam Demarest’s detective) is played straight. However, the story feels just a bit too familiar and predictable, and after a while I found myself merely waiting for the someone to knock over the line of dominoes the movie had spent setting up. This wouldn’t really have been a problem had the movie effectively ratcheted up the suspense quotient, but it fails to do so; in fact, I found much of the movie to be turgidly paced. In some ways, it’s similar to THE CLAIRVOYANT from the previous decade, but I found the earlier movie to be a little more creative. Incidentally, this wasn’t Robinson’s first cinematic encounter with mind readers and precognition; the same themes popped up in his earlier movie THE HOLE IN THE WALL. The cast also features Onslow Stevens (billed as Onslow Stevenson, which I assume was a mistake) and Douglas (THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD) Spencer.