The Woman in the Window doesn’t break away from the conventions of film noir storytelling. Lang features a protagonist who is a well-established and cultured member of society rather than a mobster with a vengeance. Edward G. Robinson stars as Richard Wanley, a psychology professor who enjoys his job and loves his family. Needing a break from work, Wanley sends his wife and children off on a vacation so he can wind down. Suddenly, when walking down a street, an oil portrait of a beautiful femme fatale catches Richard’s eye in a storefront window. Coincidentally, Wanley bumps into the portrait’s subject, Alice Reed (Joan Bennett). They hit it off well, Reed invites Wanley back for some drinks at her apartment which he gladly accepts. What follows next is a classic case of Wanley being in the wrong place at the wrong time: an ex-lover of Reed’s storms into the apartment and strangles Richard out of rage. In self-defence, Wanley repeatedly stabs the lover and he forces himself to cover up the murder. How long can he hide away from this incident until the cops find out about his actions?
It is a film about the abuse of a young girl by people in positions of power and the cover up this corruptible high society instigate to ensure they are never held to account for the crime they have committed. It is a film that