FINGERS AT THE WINDOW (1942)
Article #1028 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 1-7-2004
Posting Date: 6-5-2004
Directed by Charles Lederer
Featuring Lew Ayres, Laraine Day, Basil Rathbone
An out-of-work actor saves a woman who is being stalked by an axe-murderer. Then, when another axe-murderer shows up, he begins to suspect there is more to the situation than meets the eye.
This movie has a nice premise (there is a rash of axe murders being committed, though all by different mental patients whose last names begin with a “B”, and the opening of the movie is scary and suspenseful. Unfortunately, the movie loses steam as it moves along, partially because the story emphasizes the exploits of a chatty actor (Lew Ayres) whose presence is more apt to destroy the suspense in a scene rather than add to it; had the focus been on the woman being threatened, the movie would have worked better. As it is, the movie leaves you a little too much time to notice that the story doesn’t hold together very well, and the ending turns out to be rather disappointing. And though I’m no expert on psychiatry, I do know that paranoia, schizophrenia and split personality are all distinct and separate mental illnesses, whereas this movie almost uses them interchangeably.