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Ted Tetzlaff
Barbara Hale, Bobby Driscoll, Arthur Kennedy
Writing Credits:
Mel Dinelli

A 9-year-old Manhattan boy witnesses a murder but no one will believe him.

Rated NR.

Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1
English DTS-HD MA Monaural
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 73 min.
Price: $21.99
Release Date: 9/21/2021

• None


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The Window [Blu-Ray] (1949)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (October 6, 2021)

Kids tend to play a small factor in film noir entries, if they enter the picture at all. For a shift from that template, we head to 1949’s The Window.

Nine-year-old Tommy Woodry (Bobby Driscoll) enjoys a deserved reputation as a boy who likes to stretch the truth into “tall tales”. These fibs lead to occasional problems, so his parents Ed (Arthur Kennedy) and Mary (Barbara Hale) warn him to knock it off or suffer punishment.

When Tommy witnesses a murder in a neighbor’s apartment, he tells his parents and various authorities but no one believes him. However, the actual killers become aware that he saw them perform the deed and this imperils Tommy.

If that synopsis bears some resemblance to the plot of 1954’s Hitchcock classic Rear Window, there’s a good reason: both adapted separate short stories written by Cornell Woolrich. Plenty of Woolrich’s efforts leapt to the movie screen – and some of these others showed clear similarities as well – but Rear Window remains easily the most prominent flick based on a Woolrich work.

Does The Window deserve to be better remembered than it is? Not really, as this becomes a strangely tension-free thriller.

Actually, I should amend that last statement, as I know exactly why so little suspense arrives with Window. For one, we definitely know the killers committed the crime for which Tommy accuses them.

Whereas a more interesting tale would leave some doubt, that doesn’t occur in Window. We realize that Tommy tells the truth, so we find a black and white story.

In addition, the movie’s biggest twist – the youthful protagonist – neuters the tale. We’re aware that there’s virtually no chance any real harm will come to a nine-year-old, so we never feel any real concern for Tommy’s fate. We know that when the end credits roll, he’ll be fine.

Driscoll offers a fairly competent performance, though he overacts somewhat at times. The adult members of the cast fill out their roles in an adequate manner as well, even if the script doesn’t give them much room for personality or development.

As the film’s opening credits admit, The Window acts as little more than an update on The Boy Who Cried Wolf. Beyond some novelty value, the movie never kicks into gear.

The Disc Grades: Picture B/ Audio C/ Bonus F

The Window appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.37:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This Blu-ray offered generally positive visuals.

Overall, sharpness seemed good with only a few sporadic instances of softness. The movie occasionally became a little ill-defined, but not with much frequency. Most of the movie exhibited satisfactory to strong definition.

Moiré effects and jagged edges were not a problem, and edge enhancement remained absent. Print flaws failed to become a distraction, as no specks, marks or other issues manifested here.

Black levels were good. Shadows were also satisfying the majority of the time, as only a few shots looked a bit thick. I thought the film usually appeared attractive.

I found some problems with the movie's DTS-HD MA monaural audio, though, mainly related to the music. During the opening credits, the score sounded terribly shrill and harsh. These tendencies felt less problematic as the flick progressed, but the score nonetheless showed a rough side.

Dialogue seemed clear and reasonably natural. At times, the lines felt a bit edgy, but given the track’s vintage, these elements remained within acceptable parameters. The track seemed lackluster at best.

No extras appear on the disc.

With a child protagonist, The Window offers a twist on the usual film noir genre. Unfortunately, this ends up as little more than a gimmick, as the story never gives us much else to make it compelling. The Blu-ray comes with generally good picture, erratic audio and no bonus materials. The Window ends up as a mediocre thriller.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2.5 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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