AFI Catalog of Feature Films
Movie Detail
Name Occurs Before Title Offscreen Credit Print Viewed By AFI
Night Has a Thousand Eyes
Director: John Farrow (Dir)
Release Date:   22 Oct 1948
Premiere Information:   New York opening: 13 Oct 1948; Los Angeles opening: 20 Oct 1948
Production Date:   late Jun--early Aug 1947
Duration (in mins):   80
Print this page
Display Movie Summary


Cast:   Edward G. Robinson (John Triton)  
    Gail Russell (Jean Courtland)  
    John Lund (Elliott Carson)  
    Virginia Bruce (Jenny)  
    William Demarest (Lieut. Shawn)  
    Richard Webb (Peter Vinson)  
    Jerome Cowan (Whitney Courtland)  
    Onslow Stevenson (Dr. Walters)  
    John Alexander (Mr. Gilman)  
    Roman Bohnen (Melville Weston, special prosecutor)  
    Luis Van Rooten (Mr. Myers)  
    Henry Guttman (Butler)  
    Mary Adams (Miss Hendricks, housekeeper)  
    Douglas Spencer (Dr. Ramsdell)  
    Philip Van Zandt (Chauffeur/Cigar store attendant)  
    Jean King (Edna, maid)  
    Dorothy Abbott (Maid)  
    Bob Stephenson (Gowan)  
    William Haade (Bertelli)  
    Stuart Holmes (Scientist)  
    Jean Wong (Young Chinese woman)  
    Anna Tom (Young Chinese woman)  
    Weaver Levy (Young Chinese man)  
    Wong Artarne (Chinese waiter)  
    Jane Crowley (Newsstand woman)  
    Joey Ray (Radio announcer/Policeman)  
    Eleanore Vogel (Scrubwoman)  
    Minerva Urecal (Italian woman)  
    Antonio Filauri (Italian man)  
    Renee Randall (Secretary)  
    Marilyn Gray (Secretary)  
    Helen Chapman (Secretary)  
    Betty Hannon (Secretary)  
    Jerry James (L.A. policeman)  
    Len Hendry (Policeman)  
    Lyle Latell (Policeman)  
    Jim Drum (Policeman)  
    Jimmie Dundee (Policeman)  
    Pat Flaherty (Policeman)  
    Billy Burt (Police car driver)  
    Frank Hagney (Truckman)  
    James Davies (Jailer)  
    Harry Allen (MacDougall)  
    Gladys Blake (Mrs. Byers)  
    Lester Dorr (Mr. Byers)  
    Frances Morris (Frantic mother)  
    Harland Tucker (Husband of frantic mother)  
    Regina Wallace (Mother-in-law)  
    Violet Goulet (Deb's mother)  
    George Nokes (Newsboy)  
    Audrey Saunders (Tumbling act)  
    Raymond Saunders (Tumbling act)  
    Russell Saunders (Tumbling act)  
    Walter Cook (Tumbling act)  
    John Sheehan (Elderly doorman)  
    Albert Follet ("Frenchman" Toto)  
    Rae Patterson (Companion)  
    Julia Faye (Companion)  
    Margaret Field (Agnes)  
    Major Sam Harris (Deb's father)  
    Marie Thomas (Girl)  
    Edward Earle    

Summary: On a starry night in Los Angeles, a wealthy young woman named Jean Courtland tries to jump in front of a moving train, but is saved by her boyfriend, oil geologist Elliott Carson. Later, at a restaurant, Elliott accuses John Triton, a middle-aged aquaintance of Jean, of trying to steal her fortune by foretelling her death. In his defense, John relates the following story: Twenty years earlier, while touring with a magic act with his fiancée Jenny and his best friend, Whitney Courtland, John discovers that he can actually foretell the future. Whitney uses John's ability to amass a small fortune for the trio through gambling and playing the stock market. While onstage one night, John foresees Jenny's death following the birth of their first child. Believing Jenny's marriage to Whitney will prevent her death, John advises Whitney to buy a piece of oil-filled Oklahoma land, and disappears. Back in the present, Jean tells Elliott that her mother died in childbirth, despite having avoided marriage to John. Returning to his story, John continues: Three months earlier, John, who moved to Bunker Hill in order to be closer to Jean and Whitney, has a vision of Whitney dying in an airplane crash and tells Jean, who has never met John. She warns her father too late, however, and he dies in an airplane crash in New Mexico. Although Elliott doubts the veracity of John's "visions," Jean, aware that her father and John were once best friends, goes to him in trust. Sadly, he tells her that she will die within the week, under the stars. Back in the present, as day breaks, Elliott takes Jean home to rest, then goes to the police, who tell him that Whitney's propeller shaft had been tampered with, which suggests that he was murdered. Meanwhile, Jean asks John to stay with her at the Courtland house, where he hopes to prevent her death. Also at the house are a group of oilmen who, before Whitney's death, were planning a merger with the Courtland oil interests, and are now in search of option papers. While in the house, John foresees his own death by gunfire, as well as details involving Jean's death: She is to die at eleven o'clock the following night, beneath the stars, following a sudden hot wind, the breaking of a vase, and a flower being crushed beneath a foot. She will also die near the feet of a lion after the words "There is no danger now" are spoken. On the night that John makes the predictions, someone tries to smother Jean with a pillow, and John is blamed. The following night, John is away from the house being interrogated by police psychologists. As Jean waits in terror for eleven o'clock to arrive, all of the details of John's vision begin to unfold. Minutes before eleven, the killer pushes the hands of the Courtland grandfather clock ahead so that when the hour chimes, Jean believes she has been spared and steps into the garden. As the killer speaks the words "There is no danger now," then begins to strangle Jean, John arrives and saves her, but is shot by the police, who think he is an accomplice to the murder. The assailant turns out to be one of the oilmen who opposed the Courtland merger. As John lies dead at his feet, Elliott, who now believes John sacrificed himself for Jean, retrieves a letter from John's pocket that foretells his own death during Jean's rescue. 

Production Company: Paramount Pictures, Inc.  
Distribution Company: Paramount Pictures, Inc.  
Director: John Farrow (Dir)
  William H. Coleman (Asst dir)
Producer: Endre Bohem (Prod)
Writer: Barré Lyndon (Scr)
  Jonathan Latimer (Scr)
Photography: John F. Seitz (Dir of photog)
Art Direction: Hans Dreier (Art dir)
  Franz Bachelin (Art dir)
Film Editor: Eda Warren (Ed supv)
Set Decoration: Sam Comer (Set dec)
  Ray Moyer (Set dec)
Costumes: Edith Head (Cost)
Music: Victor Young (Mus score)
Sound: Hugo Grenzbach (Sd rec)
  Gene Garvin (Sd rec)
Special Effects: Farciot Edouart (Process photog)
Make Up: Wally Westmore (Makeup supv)
Country: United States

Source Text: Based on the novel Night Has a Thousand Eyes by Cornell Woolrich (New York, 1945).
Authors: Cornell Woolrich

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number Passed By NBR:
Paramount Pictures, Inc. 22/10/1948 dd/mm/yyyy LP1887 Yes

PCA NO: 12609
Physical Properties: b&w:
  Sd: Western Electric Recording

 
Genre: Horror
 
Subjects (Major): False accusations
  Murder
  Rescues
  Seers
  Self-sacrifice
 
Subjects (Minor): Airplane accidents
  Attempted murder
  Attempted suicide
  Death in childbirth
  Fathers and daughters
  Los Angeles (CA)
  Magicians
  Oilmen
  Police
  Strangling
  Visions

Note: A pre-production announcement in Paramount News lists Joan Caulfield as the film's star, but she was later replaced by Gail Russell. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
Box Office   17 Jul 1948.   
Daily Variety   12 Jul 48   p. 3, 11
Film Daily   15 Jul 48   p. 5.
Hollywood Reporter   3 Jul 47   p. 18.
Hollywood Reporter   11 Jul 47   p. 20.
Hollywood Reporter   8 Aug 47   p. 20.
Hollywood Reporter   12 Jul 48   p. 4.
Hollywood Reporter   18 Oct 48   p. 7.
Los Angeles Daily News   21 Oct 1948.   
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   3 Jul 48   p. 4226.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest   17 Jul 48   p. 4241.
New York Times   14 Oct 48   p. 38.
Variety   14 Jul 48   p. 12.

Display Movie Summary
The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
Advanced Search
Support our efforts to preserve hisotory of film
Help AFI Preserve Film History

© 2014 American Film Institute.
All rights reserved.
Terms of use.