White of the Eye (film)

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White of the Eye
Film poster
Directed by Donald Cammell
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based on Mrs. White
by Andrew Klavan
Music by
Cinematography Larry McConkey
Edited by Terry Rawlings
Mrs. White's Productions
Distributed by
Release date
  • 9 May 1987 (1987-05-09) (Cannes)
  • 20 May 1988 (1988-05-20) (United States)
Running time
111 minutes[1]
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Budget $2.8 million[2]

White of the Eye is a 1987 British thriller film directed by Donald Cammell and starring David Keith and Cathy Moriarty. It was adapted by Cammell and his wife China Kong from the 1983 novel Mrs. White, written by Margaret Tracy (pseudonym of the brothers Laurence and Andrew Klavan).


A series of murders of rich young women throughout Arizona bears distinctive signatures of a serial killer. Clues lead Detective Charles Mendoza to visit Paul White, a sound expert installing hi-fi systems in wealthy people's homes. His special talent is to make a noise which echoes through the air cavities in his head and shows him where the sound of the speakers should come from and echo in the room. He is married to Joan, whom, ten years earlier, he had seduced away from Mike DeSantos, who was her current boyfriend. Joan is questioned by Mendoza, but does not believe his insinuations that her husband is somehow involved in the murders.

Various flashbacks show Joan's previous relationship to Mike and later explain how it came to be that he abandoned her. The couple met Paul and befriended him. At Mike's suggestion, he and Mike go on a deer hunting trip together. Paul shoots a deer and brutally mutilates it, demonstrating his sick fascination with killing. This is partly intended to scare Mike off, which it does. Mike catches Joan and Paul after they've made love, and Paul declares that he will take Mike's place. "I am the one," Paul says. Mike puts his gun at the back of Paul's head but decides not to kill and abandons Joan.

By now Joan has run into Mike DeSantos working at a gas station in a neighboring town. Mike tells her he got out of prison after suffering a major head injury and he thinks life is looking up. He makes her promise not to tell Paul that she has seen him. Joan soon discovers Paul has committed adultery. By puncturing Paul's tires she provides him with an alibi for the most recent killing. He begs her forgiveness as the police turn their suspicions away from him. At home, Joan looks into a crawl space in the house, and discovers preserved body parts of Paul's victims wrapped in paper and plastic. Joan confronts Paul, and Paul tries to explain his motivations for killing. He believes he has been "chosen" and is expressing the nothingness of the universe, whose heart is female and destructive like a black hole. He is putting women "out of their misery," but he loves Joan.

Joan's distrust of Paul over the next night and day agitates him into a fury. First, he tries to imprison her and then kill her and his daughter. He heavily arms himself and paints his face to look like a samurai warrior or an Indian brave. Joan and the little girl escape in different directions and soon Joan has to elude Paul in the abandoned quarry. It turns out Mike has been staying there, armed with a machine gun, certain that he will meet Paul again. He rescues Joan and takes away Paul's gun, leading him to the edge of the quarry. Paul makes the sound he uses in the emptiness of living rooms and savors its echo from the quarry. While incessantly pontificating about his philosophies of life and death, Paul reveals a lighter with which he has lit the fuse of his explosive vest. Mike opens fire on him with a machine gun and Joan dives into the lake in the quarry. Paul and Mike both die instantly, in a hail of destruction. Joan is reunited later with her daughter. She talks with Detective Mendoza about what the ten years with Paul could have meant, whose destructive and nihilistic nature she never understood.



White of the Eye
Soundtrack album / Studio album by Nick Mason and Rick Fenn
Released 1 January 1987
Recorded 1986
Genre Instrumental rock
Progressive rock
Label Harvest Records (UK)
Columbia Records (US)
Producer Rick Fenn and Nick Mason
Nick Mason and Rick Fenn chronology
White of the Eye

The soundtrack album for White of the Eye features Rick Fenn and Pink Floyd's Nick Mason.

  1. "Intro"
  2. "Jam"
  3. "Murder Number One"
  4. "Vesti La Giubba"
  5. "Customized Stereo"
  6. "In Bed at Day's End"
  7. "You Sexy Thing"
  8. "Slim Jenkin's Joint"
  9. "Do You Still Hunt?"
  10. "You Sexy Thing"
  11. "I Call That Hotel Home"
  12. "The Grand Tour"
  13. "Why Me?"
  14. "Peanut Butter"
  15. "A Country Boy Can Survive/Murder Number Two"
  16. "Joanie"
  17. "Want Some Soup Mom?"
  18. "I Can't Believe You Done That"
  19. "Puke"
  20. "You Can't Kill What's Already Dead"
  21. "Don't You Fuckin' Move Bitch"
  22. "Mommy?"
  23. "Danielle Gets the Key/Car-Chase"
  24. "Psycho Killer"
  25. "Malhers 2nd Symphony"
  26. "Ten Years Gone"


  1. ^ "WHITE OF THE EYE (18)". British Board of Film Classification. April 28, 1987. Retrieved January 14, 2015. 
  2. ^ At the movies' calls for a revolving door: Hollywood report Thompson, Anne. Chicago Tribune (1963-Current file) [Chicago, Ill] 16 June 1988: E15C.

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