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Film / Eyes of Laura Mars

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Eyes of Laura Mars is a 1978 American neo-noir mystery thriller film directed by Irvin Kershner, written by John Carpenter, and starring Faye Dunaway and Tommy Lee Jones. The supporting cast includes Brad Dourif, René Auberjonois, and Raúl Juliá.

Laura Mars (Dunaway) is a controversial New York fashion photographer, whose work focuses on scenes of sexualized violence. Suddenly Laura starts to suffer from visions of murder, and her friends start turning up dead. Laura soon realizes that she is Seeing Through Another's Eyes because of a psychic link to the killer. John Neville (Jones), a police lieutenant, works on the case while falling in love with Laura.


Eyes of Laura Mars contains examples of:

  • ...And That Little Boy Was Me: Neville launches into the Red Herring's supposed tragic backstory, describing how his prostitute mother used to leave him alone in the same diaper for days while she was working, and how his probable father came home one night and slashed his mother's throat in front of him. Laura realizes he's talking about himself when he accidentally lapses into the first person.
  • "Begone" Bribe: Laura's ex-husband Michael breaks into her apartment to harangue her about everything she supposedly did wrong during their marriage. Finally she snaps, "Will fifty dollars be enough?" Then she gets out a hundred dollar bill and holds it out to him. It works.
  • Big Rotten Apple: Yet another '70s movie showing the NYC of that era at its grittiest and most crime-ridden.
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  • A Birthday, Not a Break: Donald gets murdered on his birthday.
  • Bookends: The beginning and end credits both play over a freeze-frame of Laura's face that turns into a negative.
  • Car Meets House: Laura drives into a warehouse in a failed attempt to stop Donald's murder.
  • Chalk Outline: One of the victims is stabbed and then suffers a Staircase Tumble. When the cops remove her body, they leave an outline at the bottom of the stairs.
  • Famed In-Story: Laura's work is displayed in large galleries, and when she makes public appearances, she's surrounded by photographers and reporters.
  • Funny Answering Machine: The models Michele and Lulu chorus, "This is Lulu and Michele. We're not home, so go to hell. But if you're not a horny creep, then leave a message when you hear the beep."
  • Hand-or-Object Underwear: One of Laura's photos has a topless model wrapping an arm over her chest.
  • Happy Birthday to You!: At Donald's birthday party, the guests sing "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow."
  • Impaled Palm: One of Laura's visions shows the killer stabbing the victim's palm against the wall of an elevator.
  • It's Not Porn, It's Art: Laura's detractors accuse her work of being degrading to its female subjects. Laura defends herself by saying that in real life, sexual violence is everywhere, and she just wants people to see it.
  • Love Theme: "Prisoner", performed by Barbra Streisand. It became a moderate hit.
  • Married to the Job: Michael blames this trope for his and Laura's divorce. He says, "Where were you when I needed something, when I needed comfort? Where were you? In your darkroom." Laura retorts, "Where else could I find any peace? You were in that bedroom dead drunk!"
  • Rage Against the Reflection: The killer stabs a mirror with his knife.
  • Serial Killer: John Neville
  • Soft Glass: The killer smashes through a giant window to get to Laura, and is completely uninjured afterwards.