Monday, August 8, 2011

Peter Haskell, Joan Bennet & Adam West in The Eyes of Charles Sand (1972)

Charles Sand (Peter Haskell) is a successful business man living in California. One night he has an horrific nightmare that his uncle has died. He sits up in the casket and looks at him with eyes devoid of pupils. He's awakened from the dream by the phone. His aunt (Joan Bennet) is calling to tell him his uncle has died and he must come at once. Upon arriving, she tells him that he has inherited the sight from his uncle, it's the legacy of the Sand family and can belong to only one living Sand male at a time. From that point forward he begins to have visions and is eventually led to the Parkhurst home, where all is not well.

This made-for-TV movie was the pilot for a series that wasn't picked up. It has a decidedly creepy quality to it, thanks in part to Henry Mancini's terrifying score for Wait Until Dark (1967), which was used because of a musician's strike at the time of production. The score is used to great effect here as well, though the performances are a bit overwrought. That can be seen as a good thing though, if you like a little camp with your chills. It's fun to see Adam West looking dashing with a dry look hairstyle as Charles' best friend and Barbara Rush is delightful as the sister of a disturbed girl. She eventually gets to chew some scenery. This is, of course, not on DVD, but it can be seen in full on YouTube. Part one is above, uploaded by psssyche.

Obscurity factor: 9 (hardly remembered, not on DVD, available on YouTube)


  1. OK, how bizarre. I've been hung up on watching the offshoots of the "Baby Jane" "question/statement-with-a-name" trend of the 60s/70s, this weekend. Writer Henry Farrell penned several. "Jane"...."Hush, Hush..."..."What's the Matter with Helen?"..."How Awful About Allan"....etc. FUN!!!!! I had NOT watched this one. By the way, Mancini successfully sued them for using his "Dark" score without permission...

  2. I didn't know the use of the score was without permission. That's a no-no... It's a fun film, though a bit over the top.

  3. I'm fascinated by the use of a score designed for a completely different film (used legally or not). I'm a big fan of "library" music from the 1960s and 1970s, and i've occasionally heard the same piece used in different film contexts. But I don't believe I've ever encountered a wholesale lifting of music like this. (I admit I've always wanted to make a film where all the music is from other films but not as single-mindedly as all from one film.)

  4. If you're going to lift a score, this is the best one to lift for a thriller. That music is crazy scary! It would make Mary Poppins terrifying.