The Woman in the Window (1944)

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Reviews: 71 user | 54 critic

When a conservative middle-aged professor engages in a minor dalliance with a femme fatale, he is plunged into a nightmarish quicksand of blackmail and murder.



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Dist. Atty. Frank Lalor
Edmund Breon ...
Dr. Michael Barkstane
Heidt / Tim, the Doorman
Thomas E. Jackson ...
Inspector Jackson, Homicide Bureau
Dorothy Peterson ...
Mrs. Wanley
Arthur Loft ...
Claude Mazard / Frank Howard / Charlie the Hatcheck Man
Frank Dawson ...
Collins, the Steward


Gotham College professor Wanley and his friends become obsessed with the portrait of a woman in the window next to the men's club. Wanley happens to meet the woman while admiring her portrait, and ends up in her apartment for talk and a bit of champagne. Her boyfriend bursts in and misinterprets Wanley's presence, whereupon a scuffle ensues and the boyfriend gets killed. In order to protect his reputation, the professor agrees to dump the body and help cover up the killing, but becomes increasingly suspect as the police uncover more and more clues and a blackmailer begins leaning on the woman. Written by Ed Sutton <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The screen's supreme adventure in suspense! See more »


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Release Date:

3 November 1944 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La femme au portrait  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Was based loosely on J.H. Wallis' 1942 novel, "Once Off Guard". See more »


When Wanley is hurrying back into the apartment through the rain, his hat and coat are clearly soaked. In the next shot, when he is inside, his clothes are considerably less rain-soaked than before. See more »


[first lines]
Richard Wanley: [lecturing] The Biblical injunction "Thou shalt not kill" is one that requires qualification in view of our broader knowledge of impulses behind homicide. The various legal categories such as first and second degree murder, the various degrees of homicide, manslaughter, are civilized recognitions of impulses of various degrees of culpability. The man who kills in self defense, for instance, must not be judged by the same standards applied to the man who kills for gain.
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Referenced in L.A. Noire (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

Be Careful What You Wish For...
18 April 2000 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

This wonderfully entertaining "film noir" by master director Fritz Lang is a curiosity, defying all of our expectations as a viewer and basically subverting the "noir" genre barely before it had gotten started. The dark shadows, the femme fatale, the harboiled detectives, the murder... all the elements are in place for a typical outing, but when all is said and done, look back at the motivations, the events, even the "femme", and what we have is not a world of evil (the typical "noir" stance) but a world of innocence darkened by a few petty thugs. Like the more obviously subversive (and equally wonderful) "Kiss Me Deadly" fifteen years later, "The Woman in the Window" seems to say that evil only lives when people look hard enough for it - practically a "film noir" rebuttal. As in "M" and "Fury," Lang (a refugee from the Nazi regime) once again examines issues of social evil in ways more complex than any of his contemporaries. Enjoy "The Woman in the Window." The cast is impeccable, the writing a delight, the direction peerless, the music score years ahead of its time. A small feast.

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Meaning of the ending (please answer this) lola-lola
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B+W or colour wauld29
Exceptional "film noir" murder mystery with surprise ending clive-38
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If it wasn't for the ending! goodvibe61
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