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The Face at the Window (1939)

 -  Drama | Horror  -  23 October 1940 (USA)
6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 180 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 7 critic

Set in France in 1880. A series of murders is attributed to a Wolf Man.

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(based on the play by), (scenario and dialogue), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Face at the Window (1939)

The Face at the Window (1939) on IMDb 6.2/10

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Tod Slaughter ...
Marjorie Taylor ...
John Warwick ...
Leonard Henry ...
Gaston, the Cook
Aubrey Mallalieu ...
Robert Adair ...
Police Inspector Gouffert
Wallace Evennett ...
Prof. LeBlanc
Kay Lewis ...
Babette, the Maid
Bill Shine ...
Pierre, Babette's Beau (as Billy Shine)
Margaret Yarde ...
La Pinan
Harry Terry ...
The Face at the Window
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Storyline

In 1880, the criminal called The Face is responsible for a murderous rampage in France. When the Brisson Bank is robbed in Paris and the employee Michelle is murdered, the wealthy Chevalier Lucio del Gardo is the only chance to save the bank. Chavalier proposes to the owner M. de Brisson to deposit a large amount of gold, but in return he would like to marry his daughter Cecile. However, Cecile is in love with the efficient clerk Lucien Cortier that belongs to the lower classes and refuses the engagement. In order to get rid off the rival, Chavalier uses evidences to incriminate Lucien, manipulating the incompetent Parisian chief of police. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Horror

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

23 October 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Face at the Window  »

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

(RCA Photophone System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Connections

Referenced in Nearest and Dearest: The Ghost of Picklers Past (1969) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The true king of brit-shock.
12 February 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Forget Karloff & Lugosi. Forget Cushing & Lee, even Price and the Chaneys. Tod is king of horror for one very important reason - he quite evidently enjoys his work. This was the first Tod film I saw and - having heard so much about him prior to this - I feared disappointment. No worries. Despite the cardboard settings and woeful support cast, from the moment he strides masterfully in, we are in the capable hands of a classic film villain. The opening murder with the eerie wolf howl on the soundtracks sets the scene perfectly and then we are treated to an acting masterclass from the great man himself. Whether innocently acting the concerned friend, lecherously trying to sneak a kiss from the heroine, threatening his low-life confederates with a grisly end if they cross him or, worst of all, holding somewhat one-sided conversations with his demented foster brother, Tod holds the film together. The Chevalier is underplayed by Tod compared to Sweeney Todd

  • but seldom has one man wiggled his eyebrows to more sinister effect.
It's a great pity that Universal studios didn't try to to entice him over for their classic horror cycle - Tod would've made a far more spirited Dracula than John Carradine in the later sequels and can't you just see him going toe to toe with Basil Rathbone's Sherlock Holmes. Shame nobody thought of putting him up against Arthur Wontner's in the UK. The double-exposure effects for the appearance of the "face" are well done for their time and the whole film compares favourably with the Universal classics of the period.

The production values are far higher than is normal for a British quota quickie of the period. The contrast between the spacious elegant rooms of the moneyed classes and the clutter of the Blind Rat - with a wealth of extras and charming Parisian detail such as the dancers - more than foreshadows the class-consciousness Hammer brought to its gothics a few decades later. So does the violent action with Lucien using an oil lamp to devastating effect - his disguise as "Renard" could have been a bit more convincing - and Tod making a sudden getaway by leaping from the window of the scientist's house and swimming the Seine to safety. John Warwick and Marjorie Taylor make an appealing couple - although Warwick is no match for Eric Portman in the earlier melodramas - and George King is improving as a director with a tightly edited montage of tense faces as the "corpse" slowly stirs into action to write its incriminating message. Tod is less of a central figure with whom we are expected to side with - even through his setbacks - as Stephen Hawke and Sir Percival Glyde were, but is still a marvellously blackhearted villain, as seen in his unsporting behaviour at the duel with pistols with Lucien. This is his finest film.


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A really good copy of this one Walthall
Shades of Frankenstein! stargazer1701-1
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