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The Woman in the Window

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It’s a crime that this Fritz Lang melodrama, starring Robinson as a Milquetoast psychology prof caught up in murder, has taken so long to make its way to laserdisc. The best scenes of The Woman in the Window are so loaded with expressionist iconography that they beg for instant replays (which only laser provides without rewind waits). Mirrors are everywhere, providing multiple physical and moral perspectives, and a tense, nighttime dump-the-body sequence twists audience empathy as deftly as Hitchcock’s Psycho. Look out for a set of extratextual clues: Bits of the film apparently snipped to satisfy censors have been reinstated, but they’re clearly detectable by their flickering quality.