5.8/10
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5 user 2 critic

Look in Any Window (1961)

Teen idol Paul Anka plays Craig Fowler, the troubled son of dysfunctional parents Jackie and Jay Fowler (Ruth Roman and Alex Nicol). When Jay loses his job as a aircraft mechanic, he goes ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
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Craig Fowler
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Jackie Fowler
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Jay Fowler
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Eileen Lowell (as Gigi Pereau)
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Betty Lowell
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Carlo
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Gareth Lowell
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Lindstrom
Dan Grayam ...
Police Sgt. Webber
Jacqueline Kluger
Norman Winston
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ray Reese
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Storyline

Teen idol Paul Anka plays Craig Fowler, the troubled son of dysfunctional parents Jackie and Jay Fowler (Ruth Roman and Alex Nicol). When Jay loses his job as a aircraft mechanic, he goes on a drinking binge to end all, passing out on the floor in front of his bored and disappointed wife. Meanwhile, across the back fence, Betty Lowell (Carole Mathews) confronts her philandering playboy husband Gareth (Jack Cassidy) about his extracurricular activities at work - activities which she has conveniently rationalized, as his success has made them the envy of their neighbors. While the parents fight, Craig and Betty's daughter Eileen (Gigi Perreau) indulge in a growing interest in each other - but what role models do they have for "normal" behavior? And how long can Craig hide his dark secret: a compulsion which drives him to prowl the neighborhood's quiet streets at night and peep in windows? Cast members Jack Cassidy and George Dolenz both were fathers of future rock star sons, David ... Written by alfiehitchie

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independent film | See All (1) »

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Look At These Adult Delinquents... They're The Reason Kids Like Us Do The Things We Do! See more »

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Drama

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Release Date:

29 January 1961 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Finestre sul peccato  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Jack Cassidy. See more »

Goofs

The setting is July 3rd and 4th, but the Notice of Termination Jay Fowler just got from his employer is dated November 14, 1960. See more »

Quotes

Betty Lowell: For a while I was up to bat swinging from my heels. But I didn't really earn my scarlet letter. In fact, I settled for ice coffee.
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Soundtracks

Look in Any Window
Written by Paul Anka
Performed by Paul Anka
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User Reviews

 
Peeping Paul and Young Cassidy
21 July 2006 | by (brighton, ma) – See all my reviews

This little 1961 movie has a trashy feeling to it, not helped by its very low budget. Yet it has a kind of sincerity as well, of the sort one used to find in high school civics classes. It's an odd mix of a movie, worth watching once. It's evocative of its era, the waning of the Eisenhower years, just past, and the start of the New Frontier, just beginning. The movie has the conservative mood of the fifties in some scenes, while in other respects it feels almost like a low budget attempt to make a Euopean-style art film in America. Director William Alland's style suggests a touch of Nicholas Ray here, a little John Cassavettes there, with a dash of John Frankenheimer and Arthur Penn thrown in for good measure.

Okay, enough name dropping. From what I recall of the story it revolves around a troubled teen (Paul Anka) who has become a "peeing tom", a voyeur in other words. What drives him seems not to be sexual urges so much as a desire to understand what "normal" is (I'm with you there, Paul). In this sense the story, though semi-sensational for its day, must come off as a little sad today. Since I haven't seen the film in decades I can't say for sure. As at least an attempt to probe into the true nature of dysfunctional or, if you will, troubled families, the film deserves praise for at least bringing the (at the time) hot topic up in the first place.

It's too bad that Paul Anka wasn't much of an actor. What's worse, there's something unappealing about him, not quite creepy but unsympathetic, that makes his troubled teen come off as stranger than he should. As the hypocritical grownups, Ruth Roman, Alex Nicol and, especially Jack Cassidy, are all fine. The latter is surprisingly unhammy, and his playing here much stronger than it would be a decade later, when his acting got slicker and somewhat campy. I find his work in the movie actually touching at times, which is not, I suspect, what the actor or director intended.


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