Excellent suspense thriller with unusual and intriguing plot
C. Roberts | Halifax, Yorkshire, United Kingdom | 03/14/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"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.
Some favourite lines from the film:
Joan Bennett (to Edward G. Robinson): "I'm not married. I have no designs on you and one drink is all I care for".
Robinson (to Bennett): "I should never have stopped to talk with you - I should never have come here to drink with you". Bennett (to Robinson): "Never?".
Raymond Massey (to Robinson): "It's all right Richard - don't get excited. We rarely arrest people just for knowing where the body was".
"The Woman in the Window" has a gripping storyline with many surprises along the way and edge of the seat suspense. The viewer is completely riveted by Wanley's predicament as he is drawn deeper and deeper into a situation he can't understand or explain and is unable to get out of. 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! The success of this film encouraged director Fritz Lang to reunite with his three leading players the following year for another classic thriller "Scarlet Street". See them both."
Brilliant Film Noire
firstname.lastname@example.org | US | 06/01/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"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."
Great "Who done it..??"
Seen Them All | SoCal Desert | 04/28/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"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."
A great thriller in the film noir genre.
Seen Them All | 02/23/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"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."
Classic old film starring Joan Bennett & Edward G. Robinson
cloudia | Seattle, WA United States | 04/09/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Robinson plays a criminology professor who sees his wife and kids off at Grand Central station while he continues to reside in Manhattan. After hours at his club with his good friends, the psychiatrist and the district attorney, the three men agree that they are too old for any adventures, particularly amorous ones. On the way home Robinson pauses in front of an enticing portrait of Joan Bennett and runs into the woman herself. Flirtatious but innocent banter ensues, and the two spend a lovely evening which ends, oddly enough, with Robinson in Bennett's apartment. He's just about to open some champagne when Bennett's lover comes in raging. The rest of the film involves Bennett and Robinson rather incredibly dodging complicity and association with the man, financier Claude Mazard, as Robinson has the even more harrowing experience of learning that his great friend the district attorney is investigating Claude Mazard's murder! This is classic escapist film noir entertainment, beautifully shot with great directing and fun acting. And I liked the ending too."