Film Flick: The Woman in the Window

Friday, November 16, 2012

Though some would describe director Fritz Lang's  The Woman in the Window as a film done during a decline in his career, this is a taunt, nightmarish sort of Noir. A stand-out, single-take shot near the end of the film still has people wondering how they did and, with Robinson starring as Physiology of Homicide Professor,  Richard Wanley, you can be sure you'll be on the edge of your seat.

After seeing his wife and children off for the weekend, Professor Wanley and his friends commiserate at dinner over aging and the loss of adventure- chiefly adventure of the romantic sort. Though the conversation is sparked by the portait of a beautiful woman in a shop window, Wanley is taken by surprise when he meets the woman herself, one Alice Walker, right in front of her alluring painting. Even more unexpected is her invitation to come up stairs. Wanley surprises himself by accepting her invitation for a nightcap and maybe more. But what starts as a bit of fun to feel young again turns brutal. With a dead body on the floor, and his own reputation to protect, a spiral of reactionary steps must be taken to keep the truth at bay.

A surprise twist or two has kept this film from being a critics' darling. Since Lang was famously contemptuous of critics, he probably wouldn't have cared, and Robinson seemed more interested in the cast and crew's criticism that some of his friends were communists than in how the movie did. I'm going to voice an unpopular opinion- the twists most people hate were what made the film for me. In retrospect they highlight the horrific surreality of the situation brought on by The Woman in the Window. 


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  2. I can't believe I've never seen this one! It looks so intriguing and probably one of those I would love but also be totally creeped out by (it doesn't take much..hehe). I think I may just hunt this down over Thanksgiving weekend :)

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