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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
when he is taking the "dead" body out of the car the "corpse's" eye opens and closes. See more »
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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Solid, steady, fascinating, and a little too deliberate
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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