The Woman in the Window

Synopsis: Gotham College professor Wanley and his friends become obsessed with the portrait of a woman in the window next to the men's club. Wanley happens to meet the woman while admiring her portrait, and ends up in her apartment for talk and a bit of champagne. Her boyfriend bursts in and misinterprets Wanley's presence, whereupon a scuffle ensues and the boyfriend gets killed. In order to protect his reputation, the professor agrees to dump the body and help cover up the killing, but becomes increasingly suspect as the police uncover more and more clues and a blackmailer begins leaning on the woman.
Director(s): Fritz Lang
Production: International Pictures
Rotten Tomatoes:
107 min

The Biblical injunction

"Thou shalt not kill"

is one that requires qualification

in view of our broader knowledge

of impulses behind homicide.

The various legal categories

such as first and second degree murder,

the various degrees of homicide,


are civilized recognitions of impulses

of various degrees of culpability.

The man who kills in self defense,

for instance, must not be judged

by the same standards

applied to the man who kills for gain.

So, what are you doing tonight?

I'm having dinner with Lalor

and Barkstane at the club.

Well, I just don't want you to stay cooped

up every night working all the time.

I won't, I promise you. I'll get out.

All right, dear. I should think you would

after classes all day.

But once you get your nose into a book...

- Mama, they're going.

- Yes, dear.

Goodbye, darling.

I'm so sorry you're not going with us.

So am I, but you have a good time.

Don't you worry about me.

Will you miss me?

Every minute of the day.

Every second of the night.

- Mama.

- Bye, sweetie.

Kiss Daddy goodbye.

Goodbye, you little brats.

- So long, Pops.

- So long.

And mind Mother. Both of you.

- Yes sir.

- Watch Vicky.

Yes, I will, dear.

New York Telegram, World Post.

Get your papers.

- Frank.

- What?


- Flirting with our sweetheart?

- Hello, Michael.

- How are you, Frank?

- Glad to see you, Richard.

- Who is she?

- Haven't the faintest idea.

But we've decided she's our dream girl

just from that picture.

That's right. We saw her first.

Well, it's an extraordinary portrait.

Extraordinary woman too, I bet.


Well, what's the program now, huh?

Stork Club? Billy Rose's?

Well, I hate to disappoint you, gentlemen,

but the program as far as I'm concerned

is one cigar, another drink

and early to bed.

I have a lecture at 9:00 tomorrow morning,

and I expect to deliver it without sport.

Do you mean to sit there and tell us

that on the first night

of your summer bachelorhood,

you're not even going

to a burlesque show?

No, but if one of the young ladies

wishes to come over here

and perform about there,

I'll only be too happy to watch.

- Incredible.

- Absolutely shameful.

It's outraging tradition.

Well, look, I'm a middle-aged man.

We all are.

We are three old crocks.

That sort of shenanigan is out for us.

Just a minute.

I don't know if I like being described

as an old crock.

No, Michael, he's right, I'm afraid.

And it's a darn good thing too.

Men our age...

I didn't say that.

I didn't say it was a good thing.

'Cause I don't know that it is.

All I know is that I hate it.

I hate this solidity,

the stodginess I am beginning to feel.

To me it's the end of the brightness of life,

the end of spirit and adventure.

Don't talk like that.

Men of our years have no business

playing around

with any adventure that they can avoid.

We're like athletes

who are out of condition.

We can't handle

that sort of thing anymore.

Life ends at 40?

In the district attorney's office,

we see what happens to middle-aged men

who try to act like colts.

And I'm not joking when I tell you

that I've seen genuine, actual tragedy

issuing directly out of pure carelessness,

out of the merest trifles.

Casual impulse, an idle flirtation,

one drink too many.

How many is that?

- Third, isn't it?

- Great Scott, he's lost count already.

He's a strictly two-drink man,

always has been for years.

I'm sorry if I sound stuffy.

But trouble starts, too, from little things,

often from some forgotten

natural tendency.

Yes, but I have a date for an idle flirtation

with Lana Turner

that we worked out.

Tomorrow night?

Very good.

Why don't we make it every night?

The three of us,

unless we've got something better to do.

Fine, that's a good idea.

- I think I'll roll along with you.

- Splendid.

Maybe Lana can dig up

Rita Hayworth for you.

Well, what about me?

Do you think it quite safe

to leave me alone

in this somewhat rebellious state of mind?

No, no. You'll be all right, I'm sure.

Just you run along to bed like

a good fellow and forget the whole matter.

He's much too old for the sort of thing

we have in mind, isn't he?

Now, be good.

- Dick, I really would like...

- Oh, stop worrying.

You know, I don't agree with a word

you've said.

But the disagreement is purely academic.

You know, that's exactly my complaint.

The flesh is still strong

but the spirit grows weaker by the hour.


You know, even if the spirit of adventure

should rise up before me and beckon,

even in the form of that alluring

young woman in the window next door,

I'm afraid that all I'll do is

clutch my coat a little tighter,

mutter something idiotic

and run like the devil.

Not before you got her number, I hope.


Good night.

You're safe, I guess. Good night, Dick.

Oh, thank you.

Would you be good enough to remind me

when it's 10:

Yes, sir.

Sometimes I'm inclined

to lose track of time.

I'll remind you, sir.

Thank you, sir.

It's 10:30, Professor Wanley.

It's 10:
30, sir.

Would you mind

putting it back in the library?

- Yes, sir.

- Thank you.

My hat, please.

I... I couldn't have drunk that much.

You did pose for it, didn't you?

Well, then my admiration

for the artist is definite.

It's not only a good painting, it's also you.

You know that so quickly?

I don't know it. I only know that if

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Nunnally Johnson

Nunnally Hunter Johnson was an American filmmaker who wrote, produced, and directed motion pictures. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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