Movie Review: Dead Man's Eyes (1944)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the murder mystery starring Lon Chaney Jr. and Jean Parker.

Synopsis: A talented artist is about to finish his greatest painting when an accident causes him to permanently lose his eyesight. His only chance at seeing again is a new surgery using tissue from someone else's eyes and he gains new hope when his future father-in-law agrees to donate his eyes for the procedure when he dies. However, that hope quickly turns to despair when his would-be benefactor is murdered hours later and he becomes the primary suspect.

Who's In It?


My oldest daughter and I have a long list of classic movies on our "to watch" list. And, since she now has a break from figure skating and doesn't have to be at the ice rink 3-4 times per week, we've been using the extra free time to get caught up on them. This was the movie we picked out to watch last night.

This is a movie I thought looked interesting the first time I read the description. But, at the same time, I wasn't really sure what to expect from it. As it turns out, it was actually pretty good.

The thing I found I really like about this film was the mystery surrounding Stanley Hayden's (Edward Fielding) was actually pretty solid. A lot of times, in movies like this one, the killer is kind of obvious. In this movie, however, there are actually quite a few suspects with their own potential motives. And the only clue left at the crime scene was a small screw that could have been from anything and may not even had anything to do with the murder.

In fact, as the artist (Chaney Jr) began to act a little more suspicious throughout the film, I did start to wonder if there would be a surprise twist that made him the killer simply because, at least in other films I've seen, when there are a variety of equally-motivated suspects, a lot of times it ends up being someone else.

I think my only real complaint about this movie is the ending. This is because, while I was somewhat surprised by who the killer was (at that point, I was actually thinking it was a minor character, even though he had no motive), I thought that person ended up confessing and giving himself up a little too easily. At minimum, it would have been nice to at least see him attempt to escape. However, even though I wasn't a fan of the ending, the overall movie made up for it.

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Final Opinion

This is a halfway decent murder mystery that was fun to watch. I would recommend it if you're in the mood for a classic film.

My Grade: A

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Updated: 05/24/2017, StevenHelmer
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DerdriuMarriner on 07/08/2017

StevenHelmer, It's a good classic film even though it unsettles me like The Man with the X-Ray Eyes.

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