Nunnally Johnson whips up a strong and decidedly suspenseful murder melodrama in Woman in the Window. Producer, who also prepared the screenplay [from the novel Once off Guard by J.H. Wallis] continually punches across the suspense for constant and maximum audience reaction. Added are especially fine timing in the direction by Fritz Lang and outstanding performances by Edward G. Robinson, Joan Bennett, Raymond Massey and Dan Duryea.
Opening sequence suggests that tragedies spring from little things, and anyone can become involved in a murder or criminal action. That’s just what happens to Robinson, a staid and middle-aged college professor whose wife and children depart for vacation in Maine. He pauses and admires a painting on exhibition in store window adjoining his club. Later he again glances at the girl’s portrait and finds the model standing beside him.
Robinson visits her apartment to look over other sketches; a stranger breaks in to accuse the girl of infidelity and attacks Robinson, who stabs the visitor in self-protection. Sidetracking initial impulse to call the police, he connives with the girl to dispose of the body in the country woods. Finish is a surprise for smash climax.
1945: Nomination: Best Scoring of a Dramatic Picture