7.7/10
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88 user 68 critic

The Woman in the Window (1944)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 3 November 1944 (USA)
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.

Director:

Fritz Lang

Writers:

Nunnally Johnson (written for the screen by), J.H. Wallis (novel)
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Edward G. Robinson ... Prof. Richard Wanley
Joan Bennett ... Alice Reed
Raymond Massey ... District Attorney Frank Lalor
Edmund Breon ... Dr. Michael Barkstane
Dan Duryea ... Heidt / Tim, the Doorman
Thomas E. Jackson Thomas E. Jackson ... Inspector Jackson, Homicide Bureau
Dorothy Peterson ... Mrs. Wanley
Arthur Loft ... Claude Mazard / Frank Howard / Charlie the Hatcheck Man
Frank Dawson Frank Dawson ... Collins--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:

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


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 November 1944 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Once Off Guard See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Edward G. Robinson, Dan Duryea, and Joan Bennett would go on to play the three leads in Fritz Lang's next film Scarlet Street (1945). See more »

Goofs

when he is taking the "dead" body out of the car the "corpse's" eye opens and closes. 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.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Solid, steady, fascinating, and a little too deliberate
29 October 2009 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

Woman in the Window (1944)

A methodical movie about a methodical cover-up. Edgar G. Robinson is the perfect actor for a steady, rational man having to face the crisis of a murder, and Fritz Lang, who has directed murderousness before, knows also about darkness and fear. There are no flaws in the reasoning, and if there is a flaw to the movie, it is it's very methodical perfection. Even the flaws are perfect, the mistakes made and how they are shown.

We all at one time or another get away with something, large or small. And this law-abiding man finds himself trapped. He has to succeed, and you think he might. Part of me kept saying, I wouldn't do that, or don't be a fool. But part of me said, it's inevitable, he'll fail, we all would fail. So the movie moves with a steady thoughtful pace. It talks a lot for an American crime film, but it also has the best of night scenes--rainy streets with gleaming dark streets, hallways with glass windows and harsh light, and dark woods (for the body, of course). But there are dull moments, some odd qualities like streets with no parked cars at all, and a leading woman who is a restrained femme fatale, which isn't the best. And then there are twists and suspicions, dodges and subterfuges. And of course Dan Duryea, who makes a great small-time chiseler.


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