7.8/10
11,568
85 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 ... Professor Richard Wanley
Joan Bennett ... Alice Reed
Raymond Massey ... Dist. Atty. 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, 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:

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)

Color:

Color (colorized)| Black and White

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

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

Be Careful What You Wish For...
18 April 2000 | by apocalypse laterSee 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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