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The Woman in the Window

The Woman in the Window (1944)

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Release Date: Nov 3, 1944 Wide

audience

85

liked it
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 1,614

My Rating

Movie Info

Directed by Fritz Lang, The Woman in the Window, a sadly tragic film noir, is the story of the doomed love of married psychology-professor Wanley (Edward G. Robinson), who, with murderous results, meets and falls in love with another woman. Wanley first sees the portrait of a beautiful woman, Alice (Joan Bennett), and then meets the woman herself. After committing murder in self-defense, he finds himself blackmailed by Heidt (Dan Duryea). The script, written by Nunnally Johnson, is carefully

Unrated,

Mystery & Suspense, Classics

Nunnally Johnson

Jul 10, 2007

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All Critics (14) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (9) | Rotten (0) | DVD (5)

... one of Fritz Lang's subtlest films.

May 1, 2011 Full Review Source: Parallax View
Parallax View

For much of its brisk running time, The Woman in the Window plays like another balls-to-the-wall gem from the rarely-less-than-masterful Fritz Lang.

January 30, 2011 Full Review Source: Film and Felt
Film and Felt

Richly styled, inventive detective story.

July 18, 2009 Full Review Source: Classic Film and Television
Classic Film and Television

Plays out with frightening, gripping logic, each new step and new realization suddenly appearing like a cold sweat.

August 23, 2007 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

The Woman in the Window is mostly notable as a dry run for the following year's Scarlet Street.

July 24, 2007 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

The resultant tone of The Woman in the Window is completely unremitting, until it hilariously does remit.

October 17, 2006 Full Review Source: MovieMartyr.com
MovieMartyr.com

A classic Fritz Lang film noir about the transgression of middle-class morality.

July 3, 2002 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for The Woman in the Window

Pure noir gold.
September 7, 2008
brooklynspo

Super Reviewer

Fritz Lang's "The Woman in the Window" is a reasonably good but second-rate film noir, starring Edward G. Robinson and Joan Bennett. It's hard to believe that the same man directed this and 1927's "Metropolis."

"The Woman in the Window" isn't terrible, but it almost completely lacks ingenuity. The cinematography is uninteresting, the sets and costumes run-of-the-mill, and the story rather thin. But it does hold one's interest, and there are moments of real tension.

Robinson plays a college professor who specializes in criminal psychology. He gets wrapped up in a murder with a woman (Bennett) he meets on the street late at night. It is fun to watch them try to cover it up. But the twists and turns are pretty much what you'd expect from a B picture.

There's also a tremendously lame twist ending built to make the film palatable to a Disney audience. I suppose Lang was pushed by the studio to end it this way. But it's still lame of Lang to have given in. He should have pushed back harder. It seems clear that in this period Lang cared more about earning his salary than making true cinema. From world-famous artist to studio hack in 20 years. What a disappointment.

Lang was an Austrian Jew who fled the Nazis and ended up in Hollywood. Another Austrian Jew who did the same was Billy Wilder. While Lang's creative period was over, Wilder's was just beginning. By coincidence, Wilder also directed a film noir in 1944: "Double Indemnity," starring Barbara Stanwyck. If you want to see first-rate film noir, skip Lang's film and watch Wilder's.
January 5, 2013
Bill D 2007
William Dunmyer

Super Reviewer

This is a more intense version of Scarlett Street, and I can't decide which one I like better, but they have such similar plots, I get them mixed up.
September 26, 2012
ajv2688

Super Reviewer

First M, then Metropolis, and now The Woman in the Window. It seems that when Lang is at the helm, I can always expect a great film. While this is the first film of his that I have seen of his days in America, it appears that his transpacific migration did not have a negative effect on his eye for fantastic cinema.
This slick noir features an aging professor Richard Wanley who is played by Edward G. Robinson. While Wanley's family is out of town, he fears going out on the town with his friends because he knows to ignore what he calls the , "Siren call of adventure." While the lure of eroticism is constantly hovering around him, he prefers to stay inside. However, upon a fateful encounter with a young woman, he becomes involved in a murder.
Lang expertly gives the viewer the sense of Wanley's inner turmoil as the police begin to gather evidence that could lead to his conviction. Lang's constant use of mirrors illuminate the double nature of these characters while his use of clocks help to build suspense and shows that time waits for no man, regardless of class.
To the chagrin of many, the twist ending adds another element to Lang's theme of sexual repression. While I was a bit disappointed, it does seem logical for Lang to use this twist seeing as he was the man who helped bring about a similar twist in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.
All in all, a densely packed film that is not only a success for fans of Lang, but for fans of Noir as well.
April 23, 2011
axadntpron
Reid Volk

Super Reviewer

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  • The Woman in the Window (1944) (UK)
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