Odds Against Tomorrow has a great scene involving Robert Ryan and Gloria Grahame. Ryan is an ex-con with a girlfriend he doesn't like (Shelley Winters); Gloria is a horny mother/wife who lives upstairs. Gloria enters Ryan's apartment and begins a dance around the old, old flame. She wants to fuck him. But instead of being direct about this, she turns dark and asks Ryan about a murder he committed and paid for with hard time. She wants to know why he killed that man. "Because," Ryan says, "he dared me, like you are now.” Next is a closeup of Gloria's eyes.

The movies of our day rarely fill the screen with the giant of human eyes. Is this because we no longer believe in the soul? Let's give this some thought. Ryan looks into Gloria's eyes and sees what we see: the soul. The baby is upstairs, her husband is not at home, she is daring him to fuck her. The eyes open and show him this part of her soul—the very thing which no longer exists in the films of today. Our eyes are only eyes.

With that in mind, the soulless/eyeless state of our post-noir cinema, let's turn for a moment to the popular cooperative eye hypothesis.

Kevin Haley, an anthropologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, who was not involved in the study, told LiveScience he thinks the cooperative eye hypothesis is quite plausible, especially "in light of research demonstrating that human infants and children both infer cooperative intentions in others and display cooperative intensions themselves."

Comparisons of human eyes to those of other primates reveal several subtle differences that help make ours stand out. For example, the human eye lacks certain pigments found in primate eyes, so the outer fibrous covering, or "sclera," of our eyeball is white. In contrast, most primates have uniformly brown or dark-hued sclera, making it more difficult to determine the direction they're looking from their eyes alone.

Another subtle aid that helps us determine where another person is looking is the contrast in color between our facial skin, sclera and irises. Most apes have low contrast between their eyes and facial skin.

Humans are also the only primates for whom the outline of the eye and the position of the iris are clearly visible. In addition, our eyes are more horizontally elongated and disproportionately large for our body size compared to most apes. Gorillas, for example, have massive bodies but relatively small eyes.

The white sclera allows us to communicate with just our eyes. All we need to do is to look at an external object, and another human will also look at that object and see what it is we are thinking. Apes do not use their eyes in this way. Only when you turn your whole head do they turn and look in the direction you are looking.

But the eyes not only tell us what the inside is thinking about the outside, but also what the inside is thinking about the inside. The eyes can look within. This is what Gloria's eyes do at the moment she dares Ryan. They are looking inward. He looks into her eyes and sees what it is in her soul that she is looking at. But a disenchanted world like ours no longer looks within. There is no soul, no subject, just the walls of an inhabitant. The movies of our day only look at eyes that are looking at things that are outside, and for that you need a context for the eyes and not a closeup of the eyes.