Do you know The Eyes of Laura Mars? No? OK, so here’s your schooling…
It’s the 1978 mystery-thriller starring Faye Dunaway and Tommy Lee Jones and directed by Irvin Kershner (who also directed Star Wars pics). The screenplay was adapted and written by John Carpenter, and it was his first major studio film.
Producer Jon Peters (Who produced the 70s A Star Is Born, as well as the current incarnation), was dating Barbra Streisand at the time and bought the screenplay for her. But Streisand decided not to take the role because, as Peters later explained,
“The kinky nature of the story.“
So, the role went to Dunaway, who had just won an Oscar for Network. Streisand nevertheless felt that Prisoner, from the film, would be a good power ballad for her. She sang it on the soundtrack and had a moderate hit as a result.
Laura Mars is said to be an example of an American version of the Italian giallo genre. One of my favorite scenes as set up by Rebecca Blake in the style of Helmut Newton is the car wreck scene in Columbus Circle (pictured above.) It’s become iconic.
According to Wikipedia,
Laura Mars (Faye Dunaway) is a glamorous fashion photographer who specializes in stylized violence . In the middle of controversy over whether her photographs glorify violence and are demeaning to women, Laura begins seeing, in first person through the eyes of the killer, real-time visions of the murders of her friends and colleagues.
John Neville (Tommy Lee Jones), the lieutenant in charge of the case, shows Laura unpublished police photographs of unsolved murders that very closely mirror Laura’s fashion shoots. Laura’s visions continue, including visions of the killer stalking her and continuing to murder those around her. Meanwhile, Laura and Neville fall in love. The murders continue as Laura’s various colleagues, acquaintances and past romantic interests come in and out of focus as potential suspects or victims, until a final confrontation between Laura and the killer occurs.
Laura has one last vision of the killer at her apartment, who has now come for HER. Here’s a clip.You can see the full movie on Netflix.