6.1/10
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Eyes of Laura Mars (1978)

A famous fashion photographer develops a disturbing ability to see through the eyes of a killer.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
John Neville
...
Tommy Ludlow
...
Donald Phelps
...
Michael Reisler (as R.J.)
Frank Adonis ...
Sal Volpe
...
Michele
...
Lulu
Rose Gregorio ...
Elaine Cassell
...
Himself
Steve Marachuk ...
Robert
Meg Mundy ...
Doris Spenser
Marilyn Meyers ...
Sheila Weissman
Gary Bayer ...
Reporter
...
Reporter
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Storyline

Suddenly Laura Mars can see through the eyes of a serial killer as he commits his crimes. She contacts the police and with the aid of a police detective, tries to stop the killer. But first, they have to figure out who it is. Written by Brian W Martz <B.Martz@Genie.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 August 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Eyes  »

Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Principal photography on this picture was a "closed set" to all non production personnel. Reportedly, producer Jon Peters threatened dismissal to anyone who revealed any of the script's critical or important story elements. See more »

Goofs

When Laura sees an especially frightening vision the camera cuts to her eyes in close-up. Her pupils are not maximally dilated as they would normally be by extreme emotion, but are pinpoints. This would likely have been a technical difficulty as the bright lights in the C/U would shrink her pupils. See more »

Quotes

Answering machine: [Recorded greeting on Michele and Lulu's answering machine] This is Lulu and Michele. We're not here, so go to hell! But if you're not a horny creep, leave a message at the beep!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The film's closing credits roll over the first image of the movie, a black and white image of Laura's eyes as a negative. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Malcolm in the Middle: Lois Battles Jamie (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Burn
Written and Performed by Georg Michalski (as Michalski) & Nicky Oosterveen (as Oosterveen)
Produced by Ken Scott
Courtesy of CBS Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Some twists, but a dull job directing a pretty racy scenario
9 January 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Eyes of Laura Mars (1978)

A thriller with a twist (of course) but depending too much on the first impression of that twist, and not developing it as we go. What always pains me about thrillers like this is they assume we are happy to watch and have things unfold for us, without our involvement. Not that we aren't shocked by blood and death, but we are not given clues or hints, even false hints, to make us start to figure out what is going on and who did what. Instead, we just watch another and another of these quirky awful murders. And watching isn't enough. This isn't a terrible movie, but it has the aura of something more original and special. Expect a common murder spree with a romance thrown in and you'll enjoy it.

There might be a hidden (and unintended) metaphor in the film about us as consumers watching the unapproachable supermodels who are the underlying landscape of the film. Echoes of Jack the Ripper are faint and cheap. And women, over and over again (as with lots of 1970s movies) are just eye candy, both as actresses and as models for the photography. Throw in glamorized murder, and you have what could have been a disturbing and brilliant film. But far from it.

Beauty is what it is, but Faye Dunaway struts as if she's the creme de la creme, and in fact her stiff haughtiness bleeds into her part. Some depth and surprise in her performance would have helped a lot. It's fun seeing Tommy Lee Jones in a young, hunky role, and he's pretty good, if not loosened up and amazing as he would later be.

A lot of this might be traced to the director, who, like it or not, is responsible for pulling it all together and getting the most out of everyone. Irvin Kerschner has a short resume and no particular style. The trick of this film, the photographer's visions, are scary and a little inventive, but their effect is dampened by effects. That is, the visual dimming and blurring is what it is, easily digested, and the events don't add up to anything more than just a quick murder each time. No fun at all, and slightly sad.

The photography itself? It looks like slick Helmut Newton (Newton was slick of course, but with a wiry edge to his setups) and it makes me think of Ellen Von Untwerth, who made shocking scenes pretty in the same kind of way. Ah, I read now the photos were by Newton with the help of Rebecca Blake, who I've never heard of. Newton was famous for his misogynist and high brow fashion work, often using nudity beyond the norm for his days (in the 1960s and 70s). Any critique of that kind of abusive photography one might read into the movie is blunted by the fact that the photographer here is a woman.

In the end, the movie survives on style, and it does have a really nice feel to it, not in how it was filmed, but in the subject matter.


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