Hope everyone had a restful and enjoyable holiday weekend. Well I am back with my latest edition of the weekly series, Tuesday’s Overlooked Film. Again, special thanks to Todd Mason of Sweet Freedom for collecting all the contributions.
This week, I thought I had a film all lined up, but then I read a post by frequent commenter to this site, ‘Jack Deth,’ on the website, Front Room Cinema. His post was about the Top Ten Femme Fatales. As one may have guessed, many of them came from the film movement/genre known as film noir. That immediately put me in a noir-ish mood, having also just recently sat through TCM’s ‘Noir Christmas.’
This inspiration lead me to the 1944 feature, The Woman in the Window, directed by Fritz Lang. It starred Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett and Dan Duryea. It is based on J. H. Wallis’ novel Once Off Guard.
At the beginning of the film, our protagonist, the milquetoast Professor Wanley (Robinson) is headed towards his gentlemen’s club while his family is away. He passes a shop window and sees an oil painting of the lovely Alice Reed (Bennett). After a night in the club, Wanley departs only to run into the subject of the painting in the flesh. This chance encounter leads Wanley and the audience on an unexpected journey that comes to a shocking conclusion.
At the time of its release, The Woman in the Window was a minor critical and commercial success. But as with many things, over time, this film became forgotten by the masses – with the exception of the most ardent of noir fans.
This principle cast and director would collaborate again in 1945’s Scarlet Street.