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The Woman in the Window (MGM Film Noir)


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Product Details

  • Actors: Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett, Raymond Massey, Edmund Breon, Dan Duryea
  • Directors: Fritz Lang
  • Format: Black & White, Color, Dubbed, Full Screen, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: July 10, 2007
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000PMFRW4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #117,466 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Woman in the Window (MGM Film Noir)" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

No Description Available.
Genre: Feature Film-Drama
Rating: NR
Release Date: 10-JUL-2007
Media Type: DVD

Amazon.com

Fritz Lang did his best work in Hollywood throughout the 1940s, and The Woman in the Window ranks among his best films from that period. Equally adept at crafting first-rate Westerns and melodramatic thrillers, Lang returned to the latter category for The Woman in the Window, a deliciously devious follow-up to 1944's Ministry of Fear and a near-perfect companion piece to Lang's 1945 follow-up, Scarlet Street. Adapted by producer/screenwriter Nunnally Johnson from J.H. Wallis's novel Once Off Guard, this briskly paced and brilliantly plotted thriller begins with a chance encounter between mild-mannered psychology professor Richard Wanley (Edward G. Robinson) and Alice Reed (Joan Bennett), the stylishly alluring subject of a portrait that Wanley has dreamily admired in a window near the men's club where he socializes with a savvy District Attorney (Raymond Massey) and a friendly physician (Edmund Breon). When Alice invites Wanley to her apartment for casual drinks and conversation, Wanley is forced to kill an intruder, and his subsequent cover-up leads to a nail-biting plot in which Wanley must feign innocence as he "innocently" participates in the D.A.'s investigation with a homicide detective.

Lang was an expert at turning the screws of suspense, and while Johnson's screenplay tempers its convenient coincidences with well-written characters, Robinson's increasing desperation is the engine that drives the plot. When a sleazy blackmailer (Dan Duryea) squeezes Wanley and Reed for every penny they've got, The Woman in the Window winds up to a fever pitch, with a "twist" ending that's either a cop-out or clever, depending on your tolerance for now-familiar surprises. As renowned critic Pauline Kael astutely noted, The Woman in the Window has "the logic and plausibility of a nightmare," and Lang surely enjoyed the superbly cast trio of Robinson, Bennett, and Duryea, for he invited them back for Scarlet Street just a few months later. And speaking of murder, check out the kid playing Robinson's son in one of the opening scenes: that's future real-life murder-conspiracy suspect Bobby (Robert) Blake (subsequently acquitted), at the innocent age of 10. --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews

A Very good mystery with good performances.
Seen Them All
Just when it seems that Wanley's troubles can't get any worse there is a totally unexpected twist at the end of the film which was certainly a surprise to me!
C. Roberts
The great Expressionist German director Fritz Lang was a natural to direct film noir, and this 1944 thriller is one of his most famous.
Jay Dickson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

75 of 76 people found the following review helpful By C. Roberts on March 14, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
Edward G. Robinson gave a superb performance in "The Woman in the Window" which he made the same year as he starred in Billy Wilder's classic movie "Double Indemnity" (1944). To have two great parts such as these in the same year was a remarkable achievement but Robinson was a talented actor and played a variety of roles in a long and successful career. He started out at Warner Bros. in typical gangster roles (along with Bogart and Cagney) but by the 40's had branched out into other more satisfying characterisations. In "The Woman in the Window" he was outstanding as Professor Richard Wanley and had excellent support from Joan Bennett as the seductive Alice Reed and Dan Duryea was suitably menacing as the villainous Heidt. The film was powerfully directed by Fritz Lang with an unexpected surprise twist at the end!!

Robinson plays decent and respectable Richard Wanley whose family life is very straightforward and orderly. However, his peaceful routine is about to be devastated by sinister events completely beyond his control. With his wife and children away on holiday he is visiting his club for a quiet drink with colleagues when he stops to admire the painting of a woman in the window of an art gallery nearby. Much to his astonishment he sees the glamorous model (Joan Bennett) watching him carefully. She explains that she often visits the gallery to check on people's reactions to her painting in the window. After a few minutes conversation they go for a drink and then continue on to her apartment which turns out to be Robinson's biggest mistake. The events which follow lead to violence, murder and blackmail made even more complicated when Wanley's friend District Attorney Lalor (Raymond Massey) is assigned to the investigation.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By phnewmedia@aol.com on June 1, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Fritz Langs great, clever movie about fidelity, of all things, wrapped in a murder melodrama. Robinson plays a meek, well-respected man of standing who after sending his wife and child away for the summer (a common practice of well-off New Yorkers in the days befor air conditioners)lusts after the painting of a beautiful woman in the window of an art store.
The conservative, reliable Robinson imagines what it would be like if he were presented with the opportunity to be impetuous for once. Oh, what he would do if he ever met this woman.
Lang obliges, or shall we say lets him have it, and Robinson's dream turns into a nightmare. A lesson actually. Remember what your mother told you about what happens to little boys who smoke?
Maltin calls this a melodrama. It's actually a very subtle, dark comedy, one without any jokes. Just a scenario that gets out of hand as it rolls along. I can't explain why without giving it away, just a terrific storyline.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Seen Them All on April 28, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Stars Edward G. Robinson as a college professor who meets regularly with colleagues at a mens club. Next door to the club is a portrait of a beautiful woman in the window of a studio. The men come look at the portrait and admire her beauty. One evening Robinson meets the woman and goes to her apartment for a drink. Her boyfriend bursts in and in the ensuing scuffle is killed. But things are not really as they seem and Robinson eventually learns the truth behind his chance meeting with the "woman in the window". A Very good mystery with good performances.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 22, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
If you can enjoy a film with all the suspense and turns that each character can contribute to the story, then "Woman In the Window" is for you. The video is approx. 120 minuntes and had been digital restored to provide a crisp video and audio that will satisfy the film noir fan.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Cory D. Slipman on July 19, 2005
Format: VHS Tape
The affable Edward G. Robinson plays criminal psychology professor Richard Wanley in "The Woman in the Window". After spiriting his wife and children away on vacation he goes to his club to spend time with his friends, one of whom being D.A. Lalor played by the angular Raymond Massey.

After they depart, Robinson becomes enraptured with a portrait of a beautiful young woman displayed in the window of an art gallery next to the club. Robinson is startled when he sees a face reflected in the window of the woman in the portrait. After his initial shock, Robinson engages the gal Alice Reed played by Joan Bennett in converstaion. They eventually wind up in her apartment for an innocent nightcap. Quite suddenly and unexpectedly an agitated unknown man bursts into Bennett's apartment and in a jealous rage starts to choke the life out of Robinson. Protecting himself, Robinson grabs a pair of scissors and stabs the man in the back killing him.

Bennett and Robinson are conflicted as to what to do and ultimately decide to cover up the crime and move the body to a distant location. Since they are both amateurs, very soon evidence starts to mount as the body is quickly found. It turns out that the gentleman was a millionaire who had been missing since arriving in New York's Penn Station. Massey, not suspecting Robinson involves him in the investigation. Robinson starts getting panicky when the noose starts tightening around his neck. Things really start going awry when Dan Duryea, a bodyguard of the millionaire arrives at Bennett's pad threatening extortion.

Lang creates an intense sense of fear, dread and intrigue as his plot evolves greatly aided by nice acting performances by a solid ensemble. Lang's finale is a bit of a cop out but didn't spoil the overall fine quality of the flick.
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