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GENE NELSON & MERRY ANDERS IN '20,000 EYES' W/ JOHN BANNER

Gene Nelson and John Banner in 20th Century Fox's 20,000 EYES Year: 1961 Rating: ***
Filmed in six days, this Post Noir (during the period after genuine Film Noir ended in 1958 and before intentional homage/Neo Noir began in the latter 1960's i.e. before anyone knew what Noir meant) titled 20,000 EYES sure shows its rushed production values, or lack of...

Beginning with a not-so-loving couple played by two 20th Century Fox b-movie players Gene Nelson (under the direction of Jack Leewood, who he'd return with for THUNDER ISLAND)...
Merry Anders, Gene Nelson and James L. Brown in 20,000 EYES
And a personal favorite, Merry Anders, cramped in the kind of one-shot most of the film economically consists of, discussing something unimportant until Nelson's sucker-punched by future HOGAN'S HERO fan-favorite John Banner...

Who in this case, as a wealthy gangster, is the opposite of "I know nothing," explaining the entire plot-line of his "investment counselor" Nelson who embezzled money, now with five days to pay it back... one day less than it took to make the entire movie...
Merry Anders and Gene Nelson in 20,000 EYES from a black and white lobby card
Man and woman are soon joined by the latter's former lover and the guy's current partner played by strong-jawed American-made James L. Brown in the creatively titled 20,000 EYES (referring to the city lights that don't witness the interior crime): a programmer in which, only by the end you'll realize had a nifty twist and an extremely clever heist plan that, during its course, is just suspenseful enough to pass the time...

Including Nelson having to think his way past an intruding night patrolman in a museum where the diamonds are displayed; all while his girlfriend and partner (Anders and Brown) nervously wait outside, making Nelson both a protagonist and antagonist with one shared attribute: taking crazy and desperate, last-minute risks, without which there would be no picture at all.
James L. Brown in 20,000 EYES with Gene Nelson
John Banner in 20,000 EYES with a smoking Gene Nelson
John Banner and moll Judith Rawlins in 20,000 EYES
High School museum dwellers Barbara Parkins and Rex Holman in 20,000 EYES
Actually the 20,000 EYES of the title are the city lights that don't see the heist
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