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The City of Chicago is gripped by an Axe Murderer. The streets are empty at night as there has been six murders and six people have been caught, but they are lunatics. Only one person has lived to tell about it and that was Edwina, who is as dumb as a brick. If it were not for Oliver, she would be number seven. When there is a second attempt on Edwina, Oliver figures that the crimes are not random and that someone is hypnotizing these people to do his bidding, but the police and Edwina are skeptical. Written by
Tony Fontana <email@example.com>
Lew Ayres and Laraine Day star in "Fingers at the Window," a 1942 film which also stars Basil Rathbone. An ax murderer is killing people in Chicago, and the police don't have any leads. A young actor, Oliver Duffy (Ayres) suspects that a woman, Edwina (Day) is going to be attacked after he notices her being followed. Oliver attaches himself to her, sees some activity outside of her window, and also notices a problem with her door latch, as if someone was preparing it to break in. He tries to figure out why she has been singled out, but Edwina, being an airhead, can't come up with anything.
Ayres and Day are delightful, having worked together so well in the "Dr. Kildare" series, and Rathbone is terrific as a distinguished doctor. This was Ayres' last film before the war, during which he served as a conscientious objector (he was a medic on the front lines), something very controversial at that time. MGM washed their hands of him and the "Dr. Kildare" series quickly became the "Dr. Gillespie" series. One of the first "Dr. Gillespie" films concerned a man who had lost a limb during the war - MGM was making a point. Ayres made one too, by winning an Oscar nomination for "Johnny Belinda" in 1948.
"Fingers at the Window" is a little silly with some plot holes, but the cast makes it work. Despite its macabre subject matter, it's directed by Charles Lederer with a light touch to mine the humor. Enjoyable.
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