Movies »The Eyes of Laura Mars

Directed by Irvin Kershner (1978)

While I didn’t notice the first time I saw Eyes of Laura Mars years ago, but it’s an American version of a Giallo if there ever was one. And as such it’s got the genre’s shining points and flaws: technicolor red blood, dramatic music cues, silly plot twists that end in a preposterous conclusion, a high body count, and style, style, style! There’s plenty to recommend this 70’s hit despite moments of mediocrity (like a terrible Babs song).

First, the cast. Faye Dunaway is in her prime of easy glamorous wide eyed star power, Tommy Lee Jones brooding is more charming than usual, in an all too brief appearance Raul Julia is the ultimate deadbeat gold digging ex, supermodel Lisa Taylor plays herself, and perhaps most importantly the film opened by eyes to the awesomeness of perhaps my favorite actor, Brad Dourif, who is here the foxiest creep ever put to film. Bomber jacket, jeans, flannel and a chauffeurs hat have never come together so perfectly.

That brings us to the second point: every scene has something fantastic to look at. The styling had me asking myself minutely “hmm, do I need a _____ (hat, blouse, skirt, hairdo, apartment, etc) like that in my life?” The answer was invariably “yes”.

Third, the centerpiece of the movie visually is the provocative work of photographer Helmut Newton. One of my favorite artists who sets the aesthetic tone.

You can watch it now with Netflix on demand.

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Posted on May 2, 2010

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  • From Matthew on May 5, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    American giallo? Wow, I had no idea! (But your screencaps certainly bear that out!) I’ve got to see this! Tommy Lee Jones even has a giallo haircut! Thanks!

  • From Brittany on May 7, 2010 at 7:59 am