Where were you during the third dance?
Steven Hellerstedt | 03/18/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"A rich 70-year-old man is murdered during a costume party he is hosting and the killer is sought.
GREEN EYES is an old (1934) murder mystery that talks way too much and flashbacks way too little. It was directed by the competent Richard Thorpe, who's unfortunate claim-to-fame is that he was the first director on THE WIZARD OF OZ, fired a few weeks after shooting began when his work proved unsatisfactory.
Among the suspects are the murdered man's granddaughter Jean Kester, played by pretty young Shirley Grey. The 20-something Grey would drop out of pictures in a couple of years, presumably against her wishes. Another suspect is wise-acre crime novelist Michael Tracy, played by Charles Starrett, who would appear in scores of b-movies up through the 1950s, most notably as the Durango Kid in many b-westerns.
GREEN EYES is an okay mystery that would have benefited from brisker pacing, a bit less dialogue and some less obvious `surprises' - I'm no great shakes at such things and I figured a thing or two out way too early. The transfer print quality is fair, with some wear evident on almost every frame. Some vital dialogue is missing, lost when the film jumps because of missing film frames.
Unsatisfactory Rendering Of A Novel Of The Same Stripe.
rsoonsa | Lake Isabella, California | 02/18/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This somewhat less than rewarding production is based closely upon a novel by Harriette Ashbrook: "The Murder Of Steven Kester", to a point of its inclusion of substantial swatches of Ashbrook's stilted dialogue, but since the original book remains safely confined within a rather narrow spectrum of sleuthing utilized by the English writer, it can be no surprise that the film is also dull and generally predictable. Action opens briskly with assistant director Melville Shyer, who also contributes the script, effectively leading a congregation of extras during a lively costume party sequence, this festivity organized at the home of wealthy Steven Kester by his granddaughter Jean (Shirley Grey) as a diversion to facilitate her unobstructed elopement with beau Cliff Miller (William Bakewell). Here the pace of the film begins to flag as journeyman director Richard Thorpe mishandles the tempo following discovery of Steven Kester's corpse, decorated with stab wounds, and a homicide investigation then begins under the supervision of Captain (or Chief, at times Inspector) Crofton (John Wray) who fails to acknowledge any recognizable form of correct investigative police procedures as he browbeats a large contingent of available suspects. Needless to report, many of these latter have apparent motives to have committed the slaying, and if Crofton neglects one of them, a meddlesome crime novelist, Michael Tracy (Charles Starrett), a recurring lead character as "Spike Tracy" in the publications of Ashbrook, is on hand to abet the detective. Viewers, however, will not require similar assistance, due to the story hardly being abstruse enough to challenge most armchair detectives. Production values for this low tier Chesterfield Pictures item are expectedly paltry, but some performances from players are to be valued, in particular a brief turn by Lloyd Whitlock, and neatly developed characterizations from Grey and Dorothy Revier as female suspects. Director Thorpe, ever respectful of his cast members, and especially of those whom are stage trained, leads with a loose rein."