Eyes of Laura Mars (1978) starring Faye Dunaway, Tommy Lee Jones, Brad Dourif, Rene Auberjonois, Raul Julia directed by Irvin Kershner Movie Review

Eyes of Laura Mars (1978)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Faye Dunaway in Eyes of Laura Mars (1978)

Through Some Familiar Eyes

Laura Mars (Faye Dunaway) is not only an in demand fashion photographer but a controversial one with her erotic staging for lingerie shoots. But detective John Neville (Tommy Lee Jones) would also like to speak to her as somehow her photos echo real crime scenes as she somehow has second sight and is having visions of various murders. As Laura and John work together they become romantically involved whilst Laura's visions start to make her feel like someone is stalking her which puts her on edge especially with Neville taking a deeper interest in one of her colleagues, Tommy (Brad Dourif).

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe which of the men is the killer; is it the wild haired and wild eye one, how about the manager, could it be the cop or what about the ex husband? You see whilst "Eyes of Laura Mars" gives us this story of a woman who not only has second sight but also rather perversely incorporates visions of murder scenes in to her photography it all comes down to which guy in her life is the killer who is stalking her. Now some might say it could be someone else but as all the men we meet early on our connected to Laura in some way it seems obvious as to it having to be one of them. Now there is nothing wrong with that as "Eyes of Laura Mars" is so unsubtle in what it wants us to think that you can assume immediately that it is not going to be the one which seems to obviously be a creep and so there are some inevitable twists to come.

Tommy Lee Jones in Eyes of Laura Mars (1978)

This actually makes it incredibly familiar to a whole series of TV movies I have watched with stories of a woman with second sight ending up stalked by the one in her visions. The difference being is money and star names and admittedly "Eyes of Laura Mars" certainly has a better cast than most TV movies with what seems a focus on actors and actresses who can eye act which means Faye Dunaway pulls the wide eye look of horror and Brad Dourif beneath the wild hair and beard delivers the wild eyes. And then there is Tommy Lee Jones who doesn't eye act but he does turn on the charm as a handsome young detective. The thing is that whilst the acting is okay it is also forgettable.

There is something else which "Eyes of Laura Mars" has and it is a like reverse Hitchcock going on. What I mean is that this story is very similar to what Hitchcock would have made and some of the visuals especially the visions seem like they imitate Hitchcock. But where as Hitchcock would hit us with a moment of horror early on to establish fear what Irvin Kershner does is build up on the moment of horror so each time we get another it becomes more graphic.

What this all boils down to is that "Eyes of Laura Mars" is an okay movie, it has some good actors, some twists and nice came work. But it is far too unsubtle early on and in being so makes you aware that it is not going to be as obvious as it first appears.