Directed By: John Farrow
Starring: Edward G. Robinson, Gail Russell, John Lund
Disclaimer: Kino has provided me with a copy of this film free of charge for the purposes of review. All opinions contained within are my own honest reflections.
Billed as a supernatural film-noir, Night Has a Thousand Eyes (1948) tells the story about a dime-store phony mentalist who, finds he actually can predict the future. John Farrow who directed classics like The Big Clock (1948), Around the World in 80 Days (1956) helms this pretty weird little thriller. I have to say that I am a big fan of moody films especially when they intersect with the noir movement. At a scant 80 minutes the movie for the most part clips along at a nice pace with a fairly engaging mystery. Yet, the movie has this kind of underlying bleakness, depression and dread. This almost feels like it would have fit snuggly with what producer Val Lewton doing around this time. The movie is given a really nice feel/scope thanks to famed seven-time Oscar nominated DP John F. Seitz (Sunset Blvd, Double Indemnity). There is a reason why Billy Wilder often used Seitz to craft mood and atmosphere. I will say that that movie is awkward in places. For example, instead of ramping up the movie kind of sags around the 60 minute mark. Edward G. Robinson gives a pretty thoughtful late-career performance. He sheds his usual persona to play a tired washed out man. Gail Russell and John Lund give fine supporting performances.
Night has a Thousand Eyes is a pretty weird and interesting film. It feels like a overly long Twilight Zone episode which I adore. Though I will say I think the pacing is at times awkward and feels like the movie could have used a 10 or so minute trim. Still, I think it stands out in terms of highly stylish, moody and fascinating little known films from the '40s.
Picture: Night comes by way of a 2k scan. The movie certainly looks like the image is brighter therefore details in costumes, sets and locales stick out. The black-and-white contrast is overall balanced but the image tends to sway from darker to light in any given scene. Even with a 2k scan you can still notice some noise and very so slight tempt flux. Grain tends to be on the heavy side as well. Good news is: I never found these flaws that distracting and is does overall look quite nice. Kino's 2k's always look great so I have to wonder if the original film elements were in rough shape. Night Has A Thousand Eyes has had a few bargain basement DVD releases so the fact that Kino has provided us fans with a 2k scan is, I think really awesome and I have no doubt this is the best its ever looked on home video.
Sound: Night has a DTS 2.0 track. Dialogue comes through nicely as does the score. Like the image the sound has some issues which no doubt stems from rough original elements. There is a fairly steady stream of unwanted background hiss and at one point some flickering. But, also like the image I didnt overall find it very distracting.
Extras: Night has a commentary track by Historian Imogen Sara Smith and Trailers for this film and others.