The Woman in the Window (MGM Film Noir)
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Genre: Feature Film-Drama
Release Date: 10-JUL-2007
Media Type: DVD
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
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
It's interesting in retrospect that Fritz Lang, the director more than any other associated with the shadowy and deterministic world of film noir started off his noir period with this (relatively) sunny, funny, and even playful film that seems to poke fun at the whole criminal-detective genre all the while offering a riveting example of it. I suspect that most viewers won't guess the "twist" ending on their first viewings, but careful rewatches show it to be fairly logical and not the throw-you-for-a-loop that some less-kind viewers have seen it as.
Professor of Psychology Richard Wanley (Edward G. Robinson) is seen giving a lecture on the psychology of murder, after which he sees his wife and kids off for their weekend in the country, and then goes to meet a couple of old friends at his club, just outside of which he admires a mysterious portrait painting of a beautiful young woman. One of his friends is a District Attorney (Raymond Massey) and the talk amongst the group inevitably turns to such subjects as crime, their growing infirmities as they move through middle age, the dangers of too much alcohol, the desires of infirm flesh and minds. Wanley retires to a favorite chair to read, desiring to be reminded when it is 10:30.
At the appointed hour, the Professor leaves the club, pausing once more to admire the mysterious portrait - but this time encountering the model who posed for it, the equally beautiful Alice Reed (Joan Bennett). Having had a little too much, the Professor unwisely accompanies Miss Reed to her apartment to look at more paintings - but they are unfortunately surprised by her lover, "Frank", a fight ensues, and Frank is dead with scissors in the back.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great movie - old technology, but well done for the time. A really surprise ending.Published 2 months ago by Nancy B Brown
Great movie with a twist ending, followed by yet another twist. As of this writing, this movie is selling for close to $40 on Amazon. You can watch it free on You Tube. Read morePublished 3 months ago by book lover
This is a very good Film Noir or fringe Film Noir---- The original MGM version is in Black and White. Read morePublished 18 months ago by g
This is a review of the region 1 version of MGM's own release of Fritz Lang's superb 1944 film noir, The Woman in the Window. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Film Buff
I love all of Edward G. Robinson's movies...this one was wonderful and it has a sweet twist especially when you thought it was real and then to find out it was only a dream.Published on July 1, 2014 by Moody
One of the wonderful old movies, great story and great acting. We enjoyed it very much. I recommend it to anyone.Published on April 2, 2014 by W.A.Mozart
This review is for the MGM/UA VHS version of Woman in the Window. If you hunt around, you can still find brand-new VHS tapes from Amazon-affiliated merchants and other sources. Read morePublished on March 10, 2014 by Old Film Lover