PURE TERROR MONTH: Green Eyes (1934)

Oh PURE TERROR, you box set of my dreams. Sometimes, you reward me with Italian cyborgs. Or then a movie about jungle cannibals. Or this — whatever Green Eyes is, a Chesterfield Pictures movie made before the Hayes Code. Who at Mill Creek decides what goes into these box sets?

During a masquarade ball, Stephen Kester (Claude Gillingwater, whose injury on the set of Florida Special and the premature death of his wife led to an early suicide) is found stabbed three times in the closet of his room. It could be anyone that killed him, but it’s probably his granddaughter Jean (Shirley Grey, whose acting career ended in 1935) and her fiancee Cliff Miller (William Bakewell, whose acting life went from the 1920’s to the 1970’s). After all, they ran from the scene of the crime, but not before they killed the phones and ruined all the cars.

Inspector Crofton (John Wray, he played the farmer who tries to kill Gary Cooper in Mr. Deeds Goes To Town) and Detective Regan are in the case, as well as a mystery writer named Bill Tracy (Charles Starrett, The Durango Kid!).

Green Eyes was directed by Richard Thorpe, who is more well-known for the movie he didn’t direct than the hundreds he did.

Thorpe was the original director of The Wizard of Oz, but got fired within two weeks, as it was believed that he didn’t understand the fantasy elements of the story. He also gave Judy Garland a blonde wig and baby doll make-up that made her look anything like an innocent farm girl. The only footage from his directing that remains is when Toto runs from the Wicked Witch’s castle.

He also directed Jailhouse Rock with Elvis, Above Suspicion with Joan Crawford and several of the Tarzan films.

If you don’t have the PURE TERROR set, you can watch this for free on Amazon Prime and the Internet Archive.

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