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The Woman in the Window (1944)

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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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Dist. Atty. Frank Lalor
...
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
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Storyline

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 <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It was the look in her eyes that made him think of murder. See more »


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Details

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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

Runtime:

| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Lux Radio Theater" broadcast a 60 minute radio adaptation of the movie on June 25, 1945 with Joan Bennett, Dan Duryea and Edward G. Robinson reprising their film roles. See more »

Goofs

When Claude Mazard hits Alice in the face, his hand clearly does not actually hit her, yet she reacts to it. See more »

Quotes

[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.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Ally McBeal: The Inmates (1998) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Absorbing Edward G. Robinson "film noir" murder mystery with surprise ending
2 December 2000 | by (Eastbourne, Sussex, England) – See all my reviews

"Woman in the Window" is one of my favourite Hollywood films of the forties and is in fact included in my "Top Ten" movies of all time. Expertly directed by Fritz Lang and starring Edward G. Robinson, the delectable Joan Bennett in a wonderfully seductive performance, and the sinister Dan Duryea it has a fascinating storyline, some outstanding acting and a "twist in the tale". Robinson is respectable Professor Richard Wanley (married with children) whose family are away on holiday. Admiring the painting of a woman in the window of an art gallery near his club he is surprised (and pleased) to see the attractive model (Joan Bennett) standing right next to him. She explains that she often comes along to the gallery to "watch people's faces" when they look at her painting and see how they react. After a few minutes conversation Robinson reluctantly escorts Bennett back to her apartment and the events which ensue lead to murder, blackmail, hardship and deep torment for Robinson whose neat well organised life is thrown into turmoil and disarray. Robinson's friend Frank Lalor (Raymond Massey) is the District Attorney investigating the murder which ironically for Robinson causes him even further complications and gets him unwittingly drawn deeper and deeper into the murder inquiry. Just when it seems that things could not get any worse for Robinson there is a magnificent twist at the end of the movie which comes as a total surprise!!

Some favourite lines from the film:

Joan Bennett (to Robinson): "I'm not married. I have no designs on you and one drink is all I care for".

Robinson (to Bennett): "I should never have stopped to talk with you - I should never never have come here to drink with you". Bennett (to Robinson): "Never?".

Raymond Massey (to Robinson): "It's all right Richard - don't get excited. We rarely arrest people just for knowing where the body was".

Bennett (to Dan Duryea): "Are you nuts? I haven't got $5,000 and there isn't any guy to get it from so you may as well go right along to the police and tell them whatever you wish!".

Although Edward G. Robinson was not the typical leading man type he could always be relied upon to give a good performance and in "Woman in the Window" he was at his very best!! 10 out of 10 for acting, direction, screenplay and photography. The only Oscar nomination this film received was for "best score" which was in my opinion an oversight as I believe in retrospect that both Robinson and Bennett clearly desrved to be nominated for their acting. If you enjoy this film be sure to see "Scarlet Street" (1945) which is another classic "film noir" thriller featuring the same three leading players and with Fritz Lang once again as director. Clive Roberts.


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