Thursday, May 29, 2008
Joan Bennett and Edward G. Robinson in Woman in the Window (RKO Radio Picures)
While I'll never complain about an opportunity to see The Big Lebowski or Pulp Fiction , I have to admit that those popular titles have become the reliable mainstay of midnight movies and local film series. Don't get me wrong, it's great they get play on the big screen but I sometimes wish for a little more innovation and creativity in film programming so that a more diverse selection of films is made available. So that's where Ralph DeLaurio, programmer for Tops Presents Cinema Under the Stars , comes in. While the outdoor summer venue has its share of popular titles ( Some Like It Hot , and yes The Big Lebowski ), DeLaurio also takes great care to highlight some less popular but equally impressive works. On Thursday and Friday (May 29 and 30), you can find the rare dark gem The Woman in the Window . This 1944 film noir classic by Fritz Lang serves up Edward G. Robinson as a professor who begins a downward spiral when he spies a portrait of a beautiful young woman. Robinson's married professor is then lured into the apartment of a sexy model played by Joan Bennett. Murder and deception quickly follow. The film boasts a screenplay by Nunnally Johnson. But it's Lang's moody direction that plays up the inevitable noir themes of guilt, paranoia, betrayal, arrogance and violence. This film doesn't screen very often so make every effort to seek it out. Oh... and did I mention, it's in glorious, seductive black and white.