The Night Has Eyes

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The Night Has Eyes
Moonlight Madness poster.jpg
1949 US re-release film poster
Directed by Leslie Arliss
Written byLeslie Arliss
John Argyle
Based on The Night Has Eyes by Alan Kennington
Produced byJohn Argyle
StarringJames Mason
Wilfrid Lawson
Mary Clare
Joyce Howard
Cinematography Günther Krampf
Edited by Flora Newton
Music by Charles Williams
Distributed by Pathé Pictures International
Release date
1 June 1942
Running time
79 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
Budget£15,000 [1]

The Night Has Eyes, released in the United States as Terror House by Producers Releasing Corporation and re-released in the US by Cosmopolitan Pictures in 1949 as Moonlight Madness, is a 1942 British thriller film directed by Leslie Arliss starring James Mason, Joyce Howard, Wilfrid Lawson, Mary Clare. [2] and Tucker McGuire. It is based on the 1939 novel of the same title by Alan Kennington.



Two young teachers travel to the Yorkshire Moors where their friend disappeared a year before. Before long they have encountered the man they believe to be her murderer. [3] That night, they become stranded in the house where they are staying when a violent storm breaks out.


Critical reception

Leonard Maltin called the film an "OK mystery"; [4] Allmovie called it a "taut British chiller" ; [5] and TV Guide wrote "though melodramatic and soundstage-bound, Terror House is still quite effective and eerie. Fog covers almost every exterior; cinematographer Gunther Krampf spent long periods getting the artificial fog at just the right density...The final film was almost too effective, and after initially getting an A rating from the British censor and being booked on the biggest cinema circuit in Britain, the rating was suddenly changed to H (for "Horrific"), making it off-limits for anyone under 16 years of age. The big circuits had a policy of showing only A films, so the independent cinemas became the big winners, getting an excellent thriller starring Mason, Britain's top leading man at the time." [6]

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  1. Wood, Alan (1952). Mr. Rank a Study of J.Arthur Rank and British Films. p. 106.
  2. Space_Mafune (1 June 1942). "The Night Has Eyes (1942)". IMDb.
  3. "The Night Has Eyes". BFI. Archived from the original on 14 January 2009.
  4. "Night Has Eyes, The (1942) - Overview -". Turner Classic Movies.
  5. Hal Erickson. "The Night Has Eyes (1942) - Leslie Arliss - Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  6. "Terror House".