Film ID:
NEFA 21381

EYES IN THE NIGHT

1938

Visitor Tabs

Description

This amateur drama, with location shoots around Hexham, Northumberland, pits two farmers against each other over a right of way on their land with disastrous consequences. The dispute turns violent and threatens the romance between their son and daughter, but is resolved when the crime is blamed on a gipsy. This film is a Newcastle & District Amateur Cinematographers Association (ACA) production.

Credit: Newcastle ACA Presents

Title: Eyes in the Night

Credits:

Photographed by A. H. Garland

Assistant Camera and Titles L. Greaves

Lighting A. Millard

Credits:

Produced by J. R. Wrightson

Credits:

The Players

Farmer Hodge: Leslie Bowes

His Son: G. McDougall

Farmer Brown: J. Rosslyn Smith

His Daughter: Peggy Cameron

Simpleton: J. Cameron Jnr

Barmaid: Norah Chalder

Policeman: J. Nellist

Gypsy: D. Hair

The Rest: Members of the ACA

A crowd of farmers are at a market day animal auction in Hexham, a policeman in the crowd. A cow is weighed. Pigs are also in pens for sale. Farmer Brown meets his daughter outside the Hastings ironmonger’s store.

Title: Market day at Hexton brings Farmer Brown and his daughter into town.

The two chat, Farmer Brown having a look at a spade handle. Father Brown heads off.

Title: Where Mary is, not far away will be Frank Hodge, son of a neighbouring farmer –

Frank Hodge (a farmer’s son in a suit) is also browsing the windows of Hastings’ store, and glancing towards Mary as she watches her father leave. Frank and Mary greet each other happily. Mary hands him her grocery basket as they walk towards Hexham market square to shop. They stop at a fruit and veg stall where the local ‘simpleton’ is loitering, staring at the fruit. The stallholder bags some fruit for Mary. The simpleton is trying to steal a banana from the stall, which Mary notices, laughing. Frank soon hands him a banana from Mary’s basket, and tells him to move on. Mary and Frank walk from the market, chatting happily together.

Close-up of the sign for ‘Ye Robin Hood Inn’. Inside the pub, two men smoking pipes are playing darts. Farmer Brown and another farm worker come into the pub for a drink. The bar maid serves two pints.

Title: “I’ve just heard that old Hodge has fenced off the Long Field and closed my right-of-way there –“

Close-up of the barmaid, listening in to conversations as usual. She continues wiping glasses as Brown and friend chat at the bar. The barmaid is looking over to a farm hand drinking by the fireplace, who finishes off his pint and leaves.

Meanwhile, Frank is walking Mary through woods to her path home. He hands back her basket and coat and they say goodbye.

Title: “I’ll meet you here tomorrow.”

Mary heads off (in her high heeled shoes) and Frank hops the stile to the path home. He’s walking through a field when Framer Hodge’s farm hand drives up in a horse and cart and gives him a lift.

Title: “Just heard something your father won’t like.”

He tells Frank about the conversation at Ye Robin Hood Inn. Back at the pub, the barmaid spreads the gossip to another of Farmer Hodge’s workers.

Title: “Brown says your boss has stopped his right of way.”

Title: “And he also says the fence’ll come down a lot quicker than it went up.”

The two continue gossiping. A chap with a tatty jacket walks in. smiles at some men he knows. Farmer Brown is still in the pub and stops him.

Title: “Now, no more poaching on my land young fellow!”

The man protests.

Title: “I never poach, guv’nor!”

The rest of the customers in the pub burst out laughing at this. Farmer Brown and his friend leave.

Frank Hodge arrives back home at the farm by cart with the farm help. He hops off the cart. Farmer Hodge is in the farmyard sharpening his scythe. Frank says goodbye to the farm labourer.

Title: “OK. I’d better tell father.”

He passes on the gossip to his father who strides off angrily with his scythe. Frank heads off for a walk, kicking stones, in a bad mood. This does not bode well for his romance.

Father Brown is heading home along a lane when he spies a gypsy caravan in one of his fields. He walks up to a young, surly gypsy man (wearing an earring), shouting.

Title: I’ve told you before, get off my land or I’ll have the Law on you.”

They argue and the young gypsy is defiant, and threatening. The three gypsy women hold him back. Farmer Brown stomps off, whacking the grass with his walking stick. Back at his farm, Mary is talking to her father beside a haystack. She goes back to the farmhouse as Farmer Hodge arrives. The two argue, Brown prodding him with his finger to make a point.

Title: “That fence will have to come down.”

Farmer Hodge is defiant.

Title: “Never. I mean to keep those gipsies off my land somehow – and you’d better keep off, too.”

Mary watches the two stubborn farmers argue. Farmer Hodge shakes his stick at Farmer Brown threateningly.

Title: And if you touch that fence I’ll – “

Farmer Hodge walks off. Brown shakes his head, rattled at Hodge’s anger.

Title: “If that’s how he wants it we’ll keep away from the Hodges – and that includes young Frank, mind.”

Mary looks downcast. But her father is adamant.

The next day, a lovesick Frank waits by the fence in their usual meeting place. He looks at his watch.  She is late. Close-up of a sign for a garden fête at the Towers. Frank’s watch now reads twenty-five to three. Frank paces.

Balloons are being inflated at the fête. Mary takes a balloon happily and finds her friend at a gypsy fortune teller’s tent. The two women walk off with their balloons. A couple have a go on the penny dip. Mary walks up and has a go. The couple walk off enjoying an apple they’d just got at the dip. Frank walks up and asks them if they’ve seen Mary. The man points over to the lucky dip. Mary is chatting to the woman running the penny dip. Frank walks up, angry.

Title: “Why didn’t you wait?”

She doesn’t speak but looks a little annoyed. They walk together.

Title: “Was it because of this silly fence business?”

She looks down and nods. They argue a little. She walks off, Frank watching her go.

Farmer Hodge is reading ‘The Farmers Weekly” in a rocking chair beside the fire range. His wife takes the gas light over to the window. Outside she can see a light moving in the darkness. She calls over her husband who peers through the window.

Title: “I bet that’s Brown meddling with that fence!”

He gets his coat and hat and walks outside into the dark country night. Farmer Brown is walking with a spade and a lamp. Farmer Hodge follows and shouts. The two farmers have a terrible fight in the dark. Brown knocks down Hodge and leaves him laying injured on the ground. Someone is peering through the bushes at the scene. A hand reaches over and picks something dropped on the grass beside Hodge’s unconscious body.

A group of men are having a pint at the pub the next night, when another man runs in with the news.

Title: “Heard about Hodge? He’s in a bad way – some body’s bashed his head in.”

A policeman arrives in the pub. The barmaid smiles and welcomes him in. The policeman wipes his forehead with a handkerchief. He listens to the men’s conversation.

Title: “Where was he found?”

Another man answers.

Title: Down in the long field.”

Another man says he saw Farmer Brown near the field the night before.

Title: “I saw Brown heading that way last night, with a spade!”

The policeman pushes his way through to the man and questions him brusquely.

Title: “Did you follow him?”

Title: “Course not – why should I? I’m no fortune-teller.”

The policeman heads off from the pub. He cycles off and heads down a lane.

A man crawls out from a hedge near the Long Field. Frank rushes up and stops him. He drops a rabbit.

Title: “Now I’ve caught you this time.”

Frank holds onto his arm.

Title: “Let me go and I’ll tell you who struck your father.”

Frank is shaking him and yells.

Title: But you can’t prove it?”

The young man pulls out an earring. Frank examines it and puts it in his pocket. He lets the poacher go. The man slowly picks up his rabbit and walks away.

Frank heads to the pub and calls the men out. They rush up the road and down the lane, meeting with the policeman, wheeling his bike and leading the young gypsy youth who faced down Farmer Brown.

Title: “When you said fortune teller, I remembered Hodge’s trouble with the gipsies – “

Title: “When I tackled this chap he pulled a knife – and that ear-ring should just about settle it.”

The policeman and the gang of men head off to the town. Frank walks off the other way.

At the pub, the bar maid is, as usual, listening in to the men’s conversation. Frank and Mary are together again, walking the path through the woods.

Title: “The gipsy finally confessed, and we’d knocked the fence down to let the ambulance in. Everyone’s friends again.”

They walk off happily through the woods down the sun-dappled path.

Credit: An ACA production. The End.