Barbra Streisand hasn’t starred in any horror movies — but she almost did once. However, Streisand dropped out of the project because she had issues with the film’s script. Ultimately, Streisand sang a hit love ballad for the movie’s soundtrack.
Why Barbra Streisand dropped out of a horror film
Streisand is an actress who’s starred in comedies, romances, musicals, and other films. She almost dipped her toe in the horror genre by starring in a movie called Eyes of Laura Mars. However, the book Interviews with B Science Fiction and Horror Movie Makers reports that never happened because she took issue with the film’s script.
“She was [going to star in Eyes of Laura Mars] — for about 20 minutes [laughs]!” producer Jack H. Harris revealed. “But at the crucial moment, she ducked out. She’s really frightened of ‘fright’ movies, and when she saw the way the script was going she changed her mind.” Afterward, Faye Dunaway starred in the film. However, Streisand still had a major connection to Eyes of Laura Mars.
A Barbra Streisand song that became part of the marketing campaign of a lifetime
According to the book Hit and Run, Streisand was willing to record a song for the movie even though she didn’t appear in it. The result was a tack called “Prisoner (Love Theme from Eyes of Laura Mars).” Ads for the film read “Eyes of Laura Mars, the Voice of Barbra Streisand.” In fact, the marketing for the film was based on another movie that produced a hit Streisand ballad: A Star Is Born.
According to the book High Concept: Movies and Marketing in Hollywood, film producer Jon Peter replicated aspects of the marketing campaign for A Star Is Born when he made Eyes of Laura Mars. The campaign included not only Streisand’s song, but billboards and lots of magazine ads, newspaper ads, radio ads, and television ads. This raises the question: How did the film perform compared to the song?
How the world and the producer of ‘Eyes of Laura Mars’ reacted to ‘Prisoner’
Sadly, Hit and Run says Eyes of Laura Mars was a box office disappointment, grossing a mere $20 million. ”Prisoner” fared somewhat better. The ballad reached No. 21 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it a modest hit. Because of “Prisoner,” the soundtrack of Eyes of Laura Mars captures the top 40 music of its time, as it includes both easy listening music and disco tracks by the likes of Odyssey and KC and the Sunshine Band. In addition, “Prisoner” had an impact on Peters.
Hit and Run reports “Prisoner” taught Peters a valuable lesson: soundtracks would sell better if they included songs by both well-known and obscure artists. It deserves a small place in the music history books just for being what it is — a Streisand love ballad from a horror movie.