Window, The (1949)

The Window (1949), directed by Ted Tetzlaff.

A dandy little thriller only 73m long, from a Cornell Woolrich story. The director was a noted cinematographer and it shows in his fine depiction of the city slums during a heat wave.

Young Tommy tends to tell tall tales. One hot night, sleeping on the fire escape, he witnesses a murder. His loving but irritated parents don't believe him and neither do the police. The murderers take note, and Tommy is in the sort of trouble where no one can help him.

Many tense scenes, with exciting action shots in a collapsing condemned building, remarkable for such a low budget film. The film's job is to terrorize the kid while the adults are oblivious; I'm glad I didn't see this when I was his age. Bobby Driscoll is great as the lead, as are Arthur Kennedy and Barbara Hale as his frustrated parents.

Paul Stewart and Ruth Roman are the killers, apparently a pair of grifters living upstairs. They seem so normal, which is scary. How can such violence be so invisibly close by?

Warner Archive title, remastered, available for rent from ClassicFlix.