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Big Brown Eyes (1936)

 -  Comedy | Mystery  -  3 April 1936 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 446 users  
Reviews: 17 user | 10 critic

Sassy manicurist Eve Fallon is recruited as an even more brassy reporter and she helps police detective boyfriend Danny Barr break a jewel theft ring and solve the murder of a baby.


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Title: Big Brown Eyes (1936)

Big Brown Eyes (1936) on IMDb 6.7/10

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Det. Sgt. Danny Barr
Eve Fallon
Richard Morey
Russ Cortig
Alan Baxter ...
Cary Butler
Marjorie Gateson ...
Mrs. Chesley Cole
Bessie Blair
Benjamin 'Benny' Battle
Don Butler (as Henry Kleinbach)
Joe Sawyer ...
Jack Sully
Dolores Casey ...
Doris Canfield ...
Helen Brown ...
Bereaved Mother
Sam Flint ...


Dan Barr is a flatfoot on the trail of jewel robbers. Eve Fallon is his girl of 5 years. We meet them spitting and sparring, but never doubting they're in love. Eve is a manicurist, with an eye for news. Soon after we meet her, she's out of the beauty salon and into the news-room as an ace reporter. With Eve's help, Dan nabs one of the jewel gang members, Cortig, whose stray bullet killed a baby in the park. A spooked witness and a slick lawyer get Cortig off. Disgusted with the lack of justice, Dan quits the force to find his own justice. Eve, likewise, quits the paper and returns to her job as manicurist. While giving a manicure, Eve unwittingly discovers that a prominent local citizen is the jewel gang's leader. All the while, Dan is hot on the trail. Their trails merge and the case is solved. Written by Debbie Dunlap <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Mystery





Release Date:

3 April 1936 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Big Brown Eyes  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Noiseless Recording Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since. See more »


Danny Barr: [stopping Eve from telephoning] Wait a minute, will you, honey?
[Eve smacks his hand from the phone]
Danny Barr: Oh, how I wish you were a man!
Eve Fallon: Same to you.
See more »

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User Reviews

One of Cary Grant's better films before becoming a mega-star
28 March 2009 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Mega-stardom for Cary Grant still was ahead of him when he made this amiable romantic mystery with Joan Bennett, though the film is still well worth watching and is one of the better films in this era. By 1937-1939 he was pretty much a household name, with films such as THE AWFUL TRUTH, HOLIDAY and GUNGA DIN to his credit (BRINGING UP BABY was perhaps the best of the films of this time period, but in 1938 it was a financial flop).

As for Joan, though much of the film I thought she was her sister Constance, as Joan died her hair platinum blonde for the film and she's best known as a raven-haired actress. It's amazing how much alike they look given the same hair styles. She, too, had better and more popular films in the future and so this film is one from both their transitional periods--clearly they were stars, but not of the first order.

The film is a wonderful blend of comedy, romance and mystery and is one of the better examples of this odd genre combination. While it isn't up to the tip-top standards of THE THIN MAN (but what was?), it was certainly a very good film. What I liked best was the writing for Joan's character. She was a wonderful 'broad'--a worldly and wise lady who had some of the best one-liners I've ever heard in a film of the era. She was enticing AND mouthy at the same time--whatta dame! The mystery involves an evil private detective (Walter Pidgeon) who is not above a lot of larceny in order to make it in his racket. Not only does he find stolen items, but he's not above having others killed or dealing with crooks to get it. During most of the film, Grant plays a police detective (an odd casting decision, I know) who is in love with Joan AND is assigned to a case involving Pidgeon--though at this point, no one knows he's "Mr. Big" behind everything evil and corrupt Grant is investigating. Throughout the investigation, Joan in the role of a reporter, does amazingly well in helping her boyfriend and even though they snipe at each other a bit, they are a great screen couple.

Overall, a delightful film that is close to earning an 8. Very well written and surprisingly good for an earlier Grant film.

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