Night Has a Thousand Eyes

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Night Has a Thousand Eyes
Theatrical release poster
Directed by John Farrow
Produced by Endre Bohem
Screenplay by Barré Lyndon
Jonathan Latimer
Based on Night Has a Thousand Eyes
by Cornell Woolrich
Starring Edward G. Robinson
Gail Russell
John Lund
Virginia Bruce
Music by Victor Young
Cinematography John F. Seitz
Edited by Eda Warren
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release date
  • October 13, 1948 (1948-10-13) (United States)
Running time
81 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $1.9 million[1]
Box office $1.5 million (US rentals)[2]
See also The Night Has a Thousand Eyes (disambiguation).

Night Has a Thousand Eyes is a 1948 film noir, starring Edward G. Robinson and directed by John Farrow. The screenplay was written by Barré Lyndon and Jonathan Latimer. The film is based on the novel of the same name by Cornell Woolrich.[3]


The film opens in New Orleans, where John Triton (Robinson) is "The Mental Wizard", a nightclub fortune teller. During a show one evening, Triton suddenly urges an audience member to rush home, cautioning that her son is in danger. As the story unfolds, Triton struggles with his new-found psychic ability, as all of his relentlessly bleak predictions prove accurate. Jerome Cowan (of Maltese Falcon fame) plays Whitney Courtland, Triton's best friend, who becomes wealthy using tips from the now-psychic Triton.



Critical response[edit]

The film is generally praised for its gloomy adaptation of Woolrich's writing. Time Out Film Guide, however (in spite of praising the cinematography by John F. Seitz), gives the thriller a negative review:

"Aside from the fine opening sequence -- Lund's rescue of Gail Russell from the brink of suicide, and discovery of her mortal terror of the stars -- a disappointing adaptation of Cornell Woolrich's superb novel."[4]

In his book Art of Noir, Eddie Muller writes: "No film more faithfully captured Woolrich's sense of doomed predestination than Night Has a Thousand Eyes."


The film's main theme (written by Jerry Brainin and Buddy Bernier) has gone on to become a jazz standard, having been recorded by Horace Silver, Carmen McRae, Harry Beckett, Paul Desmond and John Coltrane, among others.



  1. ^ Biggest Film Firm: Paramount's Puzzler: Will Attendance Slide Be Brief or Prolonged? By Joseph W. Taylor Staff Correspondent of The Wall Street Journal. Wall Street Journal (1923 - Current file) [New York, N.Y] 21 July 1947: 1.
  2. ^ "Top Grossers of 1948", Variety 5 January 1949 p 46
  3. ^ Night Has a Thousand Eyes at the American Film Institute Catalog.
  4. ^ TimeOut film review, no date. Accessed: July 5, 2013.


External links[edit]

Streaming audio[edit]