For Reel

Fingers at the Window (1942)
October 18, 2014, 4:41 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: , ,

Director: Charles Lederer
3.5 Stars
Fingers at the WindowLew Ayres and Laraine Day (Ayres’ on-screen lover from the Dr. Kildare series) were teamed again for Fingers at the Window, an enjoyable thriller with a handful of nicely-achieved suspense sequences. This would be Ayres’ final film for several years due to the announcement that he was a conscientious objector to the war, which didn’t destroy his career but certainly damaged his reputation. He gives a reliably great performance, here with his intelligence and snark not met with the sardonic quality that he brought to many of his best roles (such as his depressive alcoholic in Holiday). Day doesn’t fare so well, although the lion’s share of the blame should go to the screenplay that characterizes her as a fool–for a picture with some noir tendencies (especially in its visual style), it’s surprising that the one major female role is wrought as a shockingly clueless damsel. The cinematography credited to Charles Lawton Jr. and Harry Stradling Sr. is heavy on atmosphere, capturing the horrors of the dark, eerily quiet Chicago streets that have axe-murderers lurking in the back alleys. A particularly elegant scene early on in which Ayres attempts to rescue Day from a stalker is the highlight.

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