Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Eyes in the Night (1942)

A woman disapproves of her ex-lover knocking boots with her teenage step daughter (Donna Reed). When hot teen meets her oldie boyfriend, she finds him dead and step-mom lurking in the shadows. Who can solve this mystery and prove the innocence of step-mom? A blind detective with his wonder dog Friday, that's who.

This is the second of three Duncan Maclain detective movies, the first apparently lost the the other two starring Edward Arnold (not THAT Edward Arnold) as the eyeless private eye. Author Baynard Kendrick made a dozen Maclain books over two dozen years, but only these made it into film.

Typical of the day, the audience is not left in suspense very long. The only real mystery is what exactly the bad people are after and how will our hero save the day. Everything else plays out exactly as anticipated. Given the genre and premise you just know there's a blind mans bluff scene. I would have been disappointed otherwise. So, how would you handle it? Just turn the camera off and see things as Mac does. Brilliant in its simplicity.

The movie features but doesn't properly use amusing black stereotype Mantan Moreland. He's the butler, of course, but doesn't have nearly enough to do.

This low budget quickie is not without charm. The acting isn't terribly good, the story isn't terribly original, but some of the dialog is amusing, and it's not a bad way to spend 80 minutes on a cold winter night. AMRU 3.

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