The Bedroom Window - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Bedroom Window Reviews

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½ February 8, 2017
If you decide that its score - which sounds like Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis' aural weaknesses vomited on the background music of a better than usual porno - is going to define "The Bedroom Window" (1987) as a big-haired, throwaway 1980s thriller like I initially did, then consider yourself to be lucky. The movie's big-haired and it's thrilling and it was released in '87, all right, but being throwaway isn't the name of its game. After the ugly synth 'n' jazz trumpeted combo disintegrates into the pulsating atmosphere of the feature, we find that its real mission is to present itself as a peachy neo noir that walks and talks like the best of the Hitchcock "wrong man" pictures of classic Hollywood.
Aside from casting slice of American cheese Steve Guttenberg as its hero, "The Bedroom Window" is a note-perfect genre riff, a riff unafraid of taking its time to ensure that the stakes get the chance to grow as high as Shaq's POV. Here, Guttenberg is Terry Lambert, a businessman having an affair with his boss's luscious French wife Sylvia (Isabelle Huppert). Following a typically humdrum office party do they head back to Terry's apartment to spend the rest of the evening between the sheets, enjoying each other's company not so much out of a burning love but out of the excitement that comes with partaking in illicit behavior.
But the night takes an unexpected turn when screams are heard outside the apartment and seen is the attempted murder of a young woman, Denise (Elizabeth McGovern). Thanks to Sylvia's intervention is the crime prevented from delving into tragedy. But because she and Terry's relationship is more sexual than emotional, they're reluctant to come forward to help the police find the would-be murderer - throw in a helping hand and they'll expose their relationship, which hardly means anything to either of them anyway.
After some discussion is it decided that Terry, despite only seeing the last few seconds of the near lethal event, will be the one to come forward, the one to name names at the line-up and relay Sylvia's story before a judge. But as it goes with any kind of deception, deception characterized by good intentions or otherwise, the trial uncovers the truth that there's no way Terry could have been the one to see the crime take place, thus allowing for the release of the suspect and the putting in danger of the former and, especially, Sylvia. Only Denise knows the whole truth, and when Terry eventually becomes the prime suspect in the case, she becomes a crucial figure in bringing justice to fruition.
While it has a too-tidy ending that recalls the far-fetched coming together of one of Fred Jones' hare-brained schemes to catch a bad guy, "The Bedroom Window" is otherwise an electric treat - this is a sharp, economic thriller that works with a formula (most notably consummated by 1954's "Rear Window") and still manages to find the sting in it. The suspense terse and the performances impressively able to sell the pulpy material, it can do no wrong. We're immediately enraptured by its story, and writer/director Curtis Hanson (1992's "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle" and 1997's "L.A. Confidential") knows how to keep our investment thriving.
Huppert, though out of her element, particularly complements the machinations: looking straight out of 1946, her thick accent accidentally makes it seem as though she's emulating the presentational acting style of a bad soap opera, and that somehow summarizes the way "The Bedroom Window" is able to concentrate the sum of its parts to a particular (and particularly old) genre - being film noir - and rise the fun out of it once again. McGovern reminds one of the simultaneously competent and doe-eyed Anne Shirley, standing out as a damsel in distress who rids herself of her past victimhood by the film's end.
Because the movie fails to tread on new ground, it's imminent that "The Bedroom Window" be the hidden gem we escape in for 112 minutes only to rid ourselves of like a dirty T-shirt a day or so later. But there isn't anything much wrong with turning into a glassy-eyed popcorn inhaler as long as the action in front of us is effective. Thankfully, the action in this movie is.
October 1, 2016
Michael Shrieve and I scored the movie, Curtis' first feature, so this is hardly an objective view -- although I think it's accurate.

Interesting that the critical response is almost twice the audience score. I think Curtis was, all through his career, probably a little too hip for the room, although certainly there were several hits, notably Hollywood Confidential and 8 Mile. But audience's didn't much like The Wonder Boys when it first came out either. Of course, opinions have changed about that and several other of Curtis's films after their first releases. I think eventually he'll be acknowledged as one of Hollywood's best directors. And, beyond that, he was just a wonderful person to work with -- never felt so supported. His suggestions were always exactly right.
April 9, 2015
A surprisingly good ode to Hitchcock with Guttenberg as the lead.Still doesn't seem to make sense that a well done thriller had Guttenberg as the main character but it does.
½ July 30, 2014
The Bedroom Window is decent film. It is about Terry who is having an affair with his boss' wife Sylvia and she sees a murder from his bedroom window. Steve Guttenberg and Isabelle Huppert give good performances. The screenplay is a little slow in places. Curtis Hanson did an alright job directing this movie. I liked watching this motion picture because of the mystery and thrills.
½ July 16, 2014
A man's civic duties spiral out of control when his lover (his boss' wife) witnesses an assault out his bedroom window and he comes forward as the true witness to keep the relationship concealed. Not entirely plausible but this neo-noir was better than I expected and delivers a couple good twists that puts Guttenberg in a tight spot, especially after being discredited on the witness stand by the defense attorney.
½ March 2, 2014
ok chiller that rips off hitchcock's 'rear window" for plot and twists
½ June 5, 2013
A little-known thriller from the 1980's, I'm actually surprised that THE BEDROOM WINDOW doesn't have more of a reputation, because although it covers the kind of territory we've seen before in countless stories of this type, it does it well and with no small amount of style. The film wastes no time in launching into its plot (which is, basically, a Brian DePalma-type thriller packed with noir overtones, intrigue, murder, and a little eroticism thrown in for good measure), and the script hurtles forward through the numerous complications that befall our protagonist; on paper, Steve Guttenberg is a weird choice to portray the lead in a movie like this, but he's actually surprisingly convincing, and it's fun watching his character dig himself into a deeper and deeper hole. Director Curtis Hanson wrings out several quite effective moments of tension, and although the movie is a little bit dated (the musical score is a particular offender in this regard), it has a slick look that serves the story well. Solid work all around.
February 24, 2013
A minor addition to the neo noir canon. Some interesting moments are mostly dwarfed by the absurdity of each plot turn. In defense of the film though, it is thoroughly entertaining
January 20, 2013
A made for TV movie at best! Poorly acted, predictable, Steve should stick to Police Academy. Regret not cutting our losses after 10 minutes.
½ January 12, 2013
Enjoyable Hitchcock homage, with a miscast Guttenberg & dated music score but still satisfying.
½ July 1, 2012
A clever and consistently entertaining thriller.
April 29, 2011
I find it hard to believe that 86% of critics liked this movie.
½ November 10, 2010
People claim this is a Hitchock rip-off, and the Hitchcock influences are obvious, but I wouldn't call it a rip-off. It shares similarities with Rear Window, but it's still quite different. But most importantly it builds-up the suspense very well and capitalizes on the thrills quite well, much like Hitchcock films. Now, is it up to par with Hitchcock's films? Nah, not really, but it's a good homage to those sort of films that does everything quite well and manages to thoroughly entertain.
October 20, 2010
This is a fine Hitchcockian thriller with a crackerjack script by director Curtis Hanson ("L.A. Confidential"). "The Bedroom Window" is best appreciated cold so I'll just hint at the plot.

The hero (Steve Guttenberg) makes a well-intentioned mistake early in the film with some serious unintended consequences for him later. His white lie turns into a mountain of trouble. There's a cruel logic to what unspools, and his attempts to extricate himself seem perfectly rational, but the noose gets tighter anyway. The twists here are jazzy and (mostly) unpredictable though the last half hour or so isn't quite as sharp as the rest of the film. It loses some plausibility, but that's a minor complaint in a thriller and this is a gem of a movie.

So why is this film nearly forgotten today? Well, first, there's the problem of Steve Guttenberg. You hate him, don't you? I don't think he's nearly as bad an actor as his reputation suggests - he's likable in this - but maybe Hanson should've cast someone with a little more edge. No matter how much I plead this movie's case, you're just not going to watch a Steve Guttenberg movie, are you?

Second is Hanson's unremarkable direction. It doesn't have the visual flair of Hitchcock or the Brian DePalma knockoffs of the time which invites inevitable comparisons. Hanson is an excellent screenwriter, but he didn't really find his footing as a director until the '90s and this movie doesn't have any blatant "film geek" moments. He should've spun his camera around like a nut a couple of times and shot more closeups of eyeballs - maybe even threw in some clowns and split screen. Film nerds eat that stuff up and they'd be discussing its "meaning" to this day. ("Hanson SEES the DIZZINESS of the FRACTURED CIRCUS-LIKE urban experience!") But the script is more logical and believable than any of DePalma's efforts, (and even a fair number of Hitchcock's), and it should be appreciated for that. This is a very entertaining suspenser, if you're a fan of those, and it's severely underrated. 4 stars.
August 31, 2010
This is a fine Hitchcockian thriller with a crackerjack script by Curtis Hanson. "The Bedroom Window" is best appreciated cold so I'll just hint at the plot. The hero (Steve Guttenberg) makes a well-intentioned mistake early in the film with some serious unintended consequences for him later. His white lie turns into a mountain of trouble. There's a cruel logic to what unspools, and his attempts to extricate himself seem perfectly rational, but the noose gets tighter anyway. The twists here are jazzy and (mostly) unpredictable though the last half hour or so isn't quite as sharp as the rest of the film. It loses some plausibility, but that's a minor complaint in a thriller and this is a gem of a movie. So why is this film nearly forgotten today? Well, first, there's the problem of Steve Guttenberg. You hate him, don't you? I don't think he's nearly as bad an actor as his reputation suggests - he's likable in this - but maybe Hanson should've cast someone with a little more edge. No matter how much I plead this movie's case, you're not going to watch a Steve Guttenberg movie, are you? Second is Hanson's unremarkable direction. It doesn't have the visual flair of Hitchcock or the Brian DePalma knockoffs of the time which invite inevitable comparisons. Hanson is an excellent screenwriter, but he didn't really find his footing as a director until the '90s and this movie doesn't have any "film geek" moments. He should've spun his camera around like a nut a couple of times and shot more closeups of eyeballs - maybe thrown in a clown. Film nerds eat that stuff up and they'd be discussing its "meaning" to this day. ("Hanson SEES the DIZZINESS of the CIRCUS-LIKE urban experience!") But the script is more logical and believable than any of DePalma's efforts, (and even a fair number of Hitchcock's), and it should be appreciated for that. This is a very entertaining suspenser and it's severely underrated. 4 stars.
April 28, 2010
A decent thriller, from a time when Steve Guttenberg was in everything!
½ September 9, 2009
In spite of a few gaping holes in the plot, this is a solid mystery thriller, with plenty of twists in the Hitchcock style. Great pacing, and always interesting. The cast is terrific and very likable, well directed. Thoroughly entertaining.
November 30, 2008
Movies like this always annoy me, even if it does have that great 80's look to it.
½ November 22, 2008
A nice crime thriller by writer/director Curtis Hanson which is well worth a look. A must watch if you're a fan of Elizabeth McGovern or if you like watching crime thrillers.
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