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MGM presents The Woman In The Window. Written by Nunnally Johnson. Based on the novel by J.H. Wallis. 99 minutes. Not Rated. Original released in 1944.
Edward G. Robinson. ..Professor Richard Wanley
Joan Bennett. Alice Reed
Raymond Massey. Dist. Atty. Frank Lalor
Dan Duryea. Heidt
Arthur Loft. Claude Mazard
When one thinks of Fritz Lang one is bombarded with images from Metropolis and other films of his from the silent era. However Lang survived the silent age and had a successful career in Hollywood, his most famous was M. Another great film he made was The Woman In The Window.
Professor Richard Wanley is an average type of fellow. Wife, two kids, teaches at the local college. However, when is family goes away from the summer Wanley spies a stunning portrait in a store window. Later that night after a few drinks with some colleagues he finds himself staring at the painting again. Only this time the woman, Alice Reed, in the painting is staring back at him. Against better judgment he gets a drink with her and goes back to her place. Another man arrives, gets violent, and Wanley ends up killing him in self-defense. Frightened, Wanley and Reed devise a plan, albeit very flawed, to dispose of the body. To make maters worse, a close friend of Wanley’s, Dist. Atty. Frank Lalor is following all the clues left behind and closing in. All this leads to an ending that will elate some and infuriate others.
The greatest scene in this film comes after the murder. Lalor invites Wanley to come visit the murder scene with him, not knowing of coarse that he is in fact the guilty. Lalor explains all the evidence they have and their theories. Wanley goofs a few times giving up information he shouldn’t know but as he’s friends with Lalor these suspicious acts are forgiven. The suspense in this scene is pitch perfect. Wanley seems on the verge of giving himself away completely and every little goof makes you want to chew you finger nails just a little more.
Lang is a master of his craft and this film is no exception. The film is well shot and the acting is magnificent. Robison and Bennett have great chemistry as two strangers who’ve gotten themselves in way over their heads. The truly great thing about films like this one is that they just don’t make them like this anymore. The Woman In The Window encapsulates a bygone era that, sadly, will never be repeated again.
The Woman In The Window.
The film is presented in full frame 1.33:1.This is a great looking film with very little age showing in the transfer. It’s not perfect but it’s better than one might expect.
The film is presented in Dolby Digital Mono. Everything sounds good here, from the dialog to the score. All the sound has been very well preserved.
Again, MGM provides no special features for their classic film releases.
The Inside Pulse
This is a great Film Noir film, an exemplary representation of the genre. Edward G. Robinson is always a joy to watch and this film is worth giving a chance.