Night Has A Thousand Eyes
Cornell Woolrich, aka William Irish, aka George Copley was the kind of writer Nathaniel West would love. A tortured momma’s boy so lonely the only friend he could dedicate his book to was his typewriter.* A drunken paranoid recluse that let his infected leg get hacked off from neglect. Dead at 65. No one came to his funeral. He left his large estate to a college in memory of mom.
Woolrich is considered one of the finest writers of mystery and suspense in the twentieth century. After an early charade as a bright young hetero Hollywood writer fell apart, Woolrich slunk back to mommy in New York. A string of dark, brooding, trapped and twisted stories sprung up in the pulps. Hollywood came knocking again. Except this time the film adaptations were prolific and successful; even if the title changes showed a complete lack of imagination.
For instance, I Married a Dead Man became No Man of Her Own; He Looked Like Murder became The Guilty; The Black Path of Fear became The Chase; and, It Had to be Murder became Rear Window. See what I mean. Snore.
The film title for Night Has Thousand Eyes blows this theory, but the storyline is changed. Many consider this novel to be one of the best suspense novels (not mystery) of the 20th century. I guess I’ll just have to read it to find out how a psychic predicting some guy is going to get his head chewed off by a lion is going to hold my suspense–and the setting is no where near Vegas.
Night Has A Thousand Eyes. 1948. Printers Proof. Does the color look odd? Yes it is. Someone forgot to run it through the red ink cycle. The train wreck and the girl’s dress on the right should be red. Half Sheet. Never folded. No pin holes.
*The Bride Wore Black