[[quoteright:200:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/TheWomanInTheWindow1_650.jpg]]

->''"Men of our years have no business playing around with any adventure that they can avoid."''

Creator/FritzLang's 1944 FilmNoir, one of the [[TropeMaker first films]] to be so called. Richard Wanley (Edward G. Robinson), a married, middle-aged psychology professor whose wife and children are away for the summer, falls in lust with a provocative portrait of a young woman. One evening the portrait's model, a budding FemmeFatale named Alice Reed (Joan Bennett), catches him ogling it and invites him up to her apartment. The two are interrupted by her boyfriend, who tries to strangle Richard, and Richard kills him in self defense. Now the two must try to quietly dispose of the body to avoid scandal, but are hampered by their lack of trust for each other. Complications include Richard's friend, a district attorney who investigates the man's disappearance, and a third party scheming to blackmail them both.

See also ''Film/ScarletStreet'', the SpiritualSuccessor to this film, made one year later with the same director and same cast and a similar story.

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!! This movie contains examples of:
* AllJustADream: A textbook version. The whole plot is a dream of Richard's. Yes, even the many scenes he's not in. This ending was controversial at the time and has remained so ever since. Many sources say that Lang filmed this ending to conform to UsefulNotes/TheHaysCode, but Lang [[http://books.google.com/books?id=jnxOaF6qZMoC&pg=PA247&dq=fritz+lang+the+woman+in+the+window&hl=en&sa=X&ei=YtSmU7e2LorcoASKi4DwCg&ved=0CCIQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=fritz%20lang%20the%20woman%20in%20the%20window&f=false insisted]] that the ending was his idea. It's worth noting that the Hays Code really wouldn't have required such an ending, as Richard punishes himself. When Lang made ''Film/ScarletStreet'' the next year as a SpiritualSuccessor to this film, he didn't allow such an escape for Robinson's character.
* {{Blackmail}}: Unbeknownst to the conspirators, the murdered man had a bodyguard...an ex-cop who was fired for blackmailing.
* ButYouWereThereAndYouAndYou: After waking up, Richard recognizes two acquaintances as the victim and the blackmailer.
* TheCameo: That's George "Spanky" [=McFarland=] from ''Film/TheLittleRascals'' as the Boy Scout in the newsreel who talks about finding the body.
* DrivenToSuicide: Richard, when he thinks he's about to be caught.
* {{Fanservice}}: An extraordinary example for a movie released in 1944. Alice takes Richard home and takes off her wrap, revealing that she is wearing a see-through blouse underneath. Joan Bennett spends the next 20 minutes or so of the movie quasi-topless, with her breasts visible in every closeup. In 1944.
* FemmeFatale: Alice, the title character.
* FilmNoir
* INeverSaidItWasPoison: Richard makes this error repeatedly when discussing the case.
* LoveBeforeFirstSight: Apparently, this is how Alice likes to meet men. She lurks near where her portrait is visible through a shop window, and listens for the WolfWhistle.
* TheMistress: Alice is the kept woman of a man she knows as "Howard", although that isn't his real name.
* PoisonedChaliceSwitcheroo: Done in full view of the poisoner.
* PracticalEffects: For the scene where Richard wakes up, Lang did not use any dissolve or other kind of cut. Instead, this was done by focusing in tightly on Edward G. Robinson's face, while the tearaway clothes he was wearing were pulled off and the set behind him was changed, all in a matter of seconds.
* PygmalionPlot: The general concept is alluded to. As Richard stares at the portrait, suddenly the real woman appears, reflected in the window, as though the painting had come alive.
* SarcasticConfession: Richard, repeatedly.
* SmokyGentlemensClub: Richard and his buddies like to hang out in one.
* TamperingWithFoodAndDrink: Alice puts poison in Heidt's drink, but he catches on to her idea and doesn't drink it.
* ThunderEqualsDownpour: Hear thunder, cue immediate downpour outside Alice's apartment building.
* ATragedyOfImpulsiveness: The adultery and the killing are regrettable, but it's the suicide that makes it a true tragedy; if Richard had just waited a little longer, he would have discovered it to be unnecessary.
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