Wall Street Journal - 02/03/2012
"Film noir from the great Fritz Lang, this is another tale of romantic obsession, starring Edward G. Robinson as a professor infatuated by femme fatale Joan Bennett."
In Fritz Lang's WOMAN IN THE WINDOW, a tense psychological melodrama, a meek college professor, Wanley (Edward G. Robinson), gets mixed up in murder and blackmail. In a discussion with some male colleagues at his club, Wanley expresses his attraction to a painting of a beautiful woman and ponders the possibility of having a love adventure later in life. A little while later, Wanley is shocked to encounter the painting's model, Alice Reed (Joan Bennet), standing right next to him on the street. She invites him to her apartment to look at a few other pieces of art, but while he's there, an angry man storms into the apartment. The man accuses Alice of cheating on him and tries to attack the professor, and Wanley kills the man in self-defense. The police soon discover the murder and Wanly begins living in fear of being caught. In time, the accidental killing gives rise to blackmail, deception, and more murder, spinning THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW into a tragic and claustrophobic meditation on fate, crime, and punishment. Dazzlingly orchestrated, the film shows Lang's masterful direction and evocative cinematography and editing.
In this tense melodrama, a meek college professor gets mixed up in murder and blackmail. After his wife and kids leave for vacation in Maine, Professor Richard Wanley remains behind on his own. En route to his club, he's riveted by a painting he sees in a store window. It's a portrait of a beautiful woman, and he's shocked when he realizes that the picture's model--Alice Reed--is standing right next to him. Wanley innocently goes to Reed's apartment to look at other pieces of art when an angry man breaks in. After accusing Alice of cheating on him, the stranger attempts to harm the professor. But Wanley defends himself by stabbing his attacker, who, it turns out, is a famous financial promoter. The professor and the model then cover up the crime by dumping the body in the woods. The police eventually do find out about the death, and they start an investigation; meanwhile, the professor tries desperately to figure out a way out of this mess. Then it turns out that someone else knows what happens...and intends to blackmail Wanley and Reed.