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The Night Has Eyes (1942)

Two teachers, man-hungry Doris and restrained Marian, visit the Yorkshire moors a year after friend Evelyn disappeared there. On a stormy night, they take refuge in the isolated cottage of ... See full summary »


Leslie Arliss


Alan Kennington (from the novel by), Leslie Arliss




Complete credited cast:
James Mason ... Stephen Deremid
Wilfrid Lawson ... Jim Sturrock
Mary Clare ... Mrs. Ranger
Joyce Howard ... Marian Ives
Tucker McGuire ... Doris
John Fernald John Fernald ... Dr. Barry Randall
Dorothy Black Dorothy Black ... Miss Fenwick
Amy Dalby Amy Dalby ... Miss Miggs


Two teachers, man-hungry Doris and restrained Marian, visit the Yorkshire moors a year after friend Evelyn disappeared there. On a stormy night, they take refuge in the isolated cottage of Stephen, one-time pianist shellshocked in the Spanish Civil War. Doris flees as soon as the flood subsides; but Marian's suspicions about Evelyn's fate, in conflict with her growing love for Stephen, prompt her to stay on among the misty bogs. Written by Rod Crawford <puffinus@u.washington.edu>

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She loved the man, even though she thought he was a murderer!


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Did You Know?


Marian and Doris both teach at Carne House Secondary School for Girls. See more »


Despite Sturrock's many protestations to the contrary, the Capuchin is indeed a monkey. See more »


The Night Has Eyes
Music by Charles Williams
Played on piano by James Mason (dubbed)
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User Reviews

A Brooding Hero Beautifully-Played by James Mason; a Fine "B" Mystery
1 January 2008 | by silverscreen888See all my reviews

I find "The Night Has Eyes", a very personal project by director-scenarist Leslie Arliss and producer and scenarist John Argyle, to be both a seminal and engrossing narrative. To me, it often appears to be an inexpensive but nevertheless effective adaptation of a mystery novel by Alan Kennington. And it is one whose several aspects have been copied and redone many times since. The center of the storyline is a reclusive young man. Injured in war, he has shut himself away in a Gothic-profile house on the edge of the Yorkshire moors. We find that he was a brilliant young composer but that he can no longer access his talent. There is a mystery as to why he regards it as necessary to quit mankind; and we find out about his reason through the agency of a young female teacher, who arrives at the house as a visitor and who with her girlfriend must remain there for several days. There is a "kicker" in her presence in the area; she is seeking the truth of the death of another teacher, her friend, who vanished in the area the year before. Upon these ingredients, Arliss constructs a rather claustrophobic-appearing but well-constructed tale. Revelation follows, revelation, relationships are shifted and changed by actions, words, discoveries and altered purposes. And when the teacher falls in love with the troubled hero, a chain f events is set in motion that ends with a satisfying and interesting conclusion of what I find to be great power. The actors to me are the strongest element in this moody and atmospheric piece from start to finish. Duncan Sutherland designed the low-budget production; Gunther Krampf did the cinematography and interesting music was composed by Charles Williams. Dorothy Black and Amy Dalby show to advantage as teachers in the film's earliest scenes; John Fernald plays a laid-back physician in fine comedic style with Tucker McGuire stealing scenes as a man- happy and sharp-tongued companion to the heroine. The other long roles in the mystery are played by pretty Joyce Howard, as Marian Ives, the teacher seeking her lost friend, Mary Clare as the enigmatic housekeeper to the hero, powerful Wilfrid Lawson as the hero's handyman, and James Mason as the troubled composer. It is Mason's utterly believable and beautifully-timed performance, as in so many other films, that unifies a merely-middling production. Howard is weak in charisma but quite satisfactory as a consort to the angst- ridden recluse; all the rest keep the intriguing psychological mystery moving very nicely, making for a well-acted film. "The Night Has Eyes" with a sufficient budget might have appeared to be a somewhat better as a realized work of cinema; but the main strengths of the script are very well brought out by the accomplished Mason and the rest of the cast as it is; and the simplicity of black-and-white presentation adds to the effectiveness of the characters and to the sense of importance that accompanies their motives and deeds.

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Release Date:

1 June 1942 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Moonlight Madness See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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