In luscious black-and-white, the screen flickers and takes us back to a world filled with crimes, intrigues, and elegant men and women with dark pasts. Film Noir. I’m a die hard fan and have been for years. Thus, I was delighted to win tickets to the screening of my choice during The Cinematheque‘s recent Film Noir series. I chose The Woman in the Window. It’s not as well-known as some other Noir classics, but I had to see it.
The primary reason was the lead actor, Edward G. Robinson. I feel about Robinson the way many people felt about Lady Gaga after she sang The Sound of Music classics at The Oscars. Why, exactly, had this woman with a fantastic voice been wasting her time singing songs like “Poker Face” all these years? Robinson played so many gangster roles throughout his career that it’s easy to think his abilities as an actor were limited to these parts, but a few performances showed audiences that he was capable of so much more. The Woman in the Window was one of the films that demonstrated his ability to convey pathos, inner turmoil, and utter despair. Yet, he displayed a subtle, restrained sense of humour at other points in this movie, as well. He goes from being a rather staid, middle-aged professor to a man bewitched by beauty and capable of acts that we, the audience, couldn’t have conceived of him doing moments earlier.
I would encourage all of you to seek out this film, if not for Robinson’s performance, but for the ending. I’m not one for giving away key plot points, but let’s just say there are two endings to this film. The first is the real ending. The ending that the film would have had if it were made today. Instead, it concludes with the censors’ ending. Even in Film Noir, bad guys don’t get off scot free and bad deeds don’t go unpunished. The world was always portrayed as a generally good place, even when it was really in the midst of World War II.
Well, this latest win brings my total to $225 for 2015. Look for my next installment when I describe the experience of being a finalist in a photo contest and going on my first rollercoaster ride.