“The Woman in the Window” is a film noir first released in 1944 and stars Edward G. Robinson alongside Joan Bennett, Raymond Massey, and Dan Duryea. Fritz Lang directed this film which was written by Nunnally Johnson, who adapted it for the screen from a novel written by J.H. Wallis.
A psychology professor whose family has gone on vacation without him encounters a woman who modeled for a portrait displayed in a storefront near his club. Professor Richard Wanley, played by Robinson, ends up joining the woman at her apartment for a late night drink when another man barges in and attacks him. The professor ends up killing this overly belligerent stranger in self-defense. He and Joan Bennett’s character end up deciding to dispose of the body and make a pact to live their lives. Of course, the professor is friends with Massey’s role Frank Lalor, a district attorney who is involved with the investigation once the body is discovered by a curious boy scout. Just when matters can’t seem to get any worse, the blackmailer played by Dan Duryea is on hand to really raise the stakes.
This is mostly a pretty interesting film for the most part. I thought Robinson did well enough playing this somewhat bland intellectual who finds himself in this unusual predicament. The performances all around were solid. Robinson is an interesting actor who had a reputation for playing the tough, dangerous types in films. This particular role was a bit of a departure from what he usually portrayed, however he was also known as a very compelling actor no matter what he did.
Bennett was also quite good as the mysterious model who pulls Wanley into her mess. The two played off each other quite well as they concoct the plan to conceal their murderous mishap.
Now, the film does have an ending which was rather odd and somewhat disappointing. It just seemed rather out of place. In spite of my reservations, I would say there is still something worthwhile to see in this one.