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by Jenni Giesey
My Classic Movie Pick: The Window
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The Window is a simple,  little film, that came out in 1949.   Shot in New York City at a tenement building the movie’s setting doesn’t change very much, the action staying at the tenement building throughout most of the film.  The Window was based upon the short story, The Boy Cried Murder, written by Cornell Woolrich.   The title of the short story tells the plot: a 9 year old boy has witnessed a murder.  He tells his parents, he tells some police officers he knows at a  nearby station house.    Due to the boy’s reputation for  habitually telling lies, no one believes him.  The killers find out that this boy saw them commit their crime and they are on the hunt to snatch him and kill him, too.  TW poster 1

Playing the part of Tommy Woodry, the 9 year old boy, was Bobby Driscoll.  Driscoll gave an impressive performance.  He was in almost every scene, and he had a lot of emotions to display which he did so well.  I cannot imagine the pressure that may have been put on his young shoulders, to know that he and his performance had to carry an entire movie, but Driscoll shone in the role and his performance is considered one of the best given by a child actor in any movie.  The Academy Awards that year gave Driscoll a special Oscar for his performance in The Window.   Driscoll is best remembered today for two other roles he played, Johnny in Song of the South, and Jim Hawkins in Treasure Island.  Those two movies were made by the Disney Studios and he also did the voice of  Peter Pan for their animated movie of J.M. Barrie’s classic book.

Tommy’s parents, Mary and Ed Woodry, are well played by Barbara Hale(Perry Mason’s future secretary) and Arthur Kennedy.  They do a fine job of playing Tommy’s exasperated parents, tired of his telling lies all the time.  Due to their disbelief of Tommy  seeing a murder committed by their neighbors, they unwittingly put their son in danger.

Joe and Jean Kellerson, the evil neighbors who commit the murder, are aptly played by Paul Stewart and Ruth Roman.  They both do  well, playing murderers trying to cover their deed, and the suspense in the movie really begins to build as they try to catch Tommy and do him in  to keep him quiet forever.

Director Ted Tetzlaff and cinematographer William Steiner created a tight, suspenseful film.  C.K. Bakaleinikoff  aided the film with his musical stylings that help the taught suspense to build.  Turner Classic Movies recently aired The Window, early on October 18th and hopefully they will air it again soon.  The movie is available through their TCM Shop, and  it is available through Amazon.

What follows are some scenes from the movie:

A New York City tenement, much like the setting for The Window.

A New York City tenement, much like the setting for The Window.



Tommy Woodry, an only child, loves the attention that telling lies gives him.

Tommy Woodry, an only child, loves the attention that telling lies gives him.



A hot night in the city, so Tommy seeks the fire escape to sleep on for the night.

A hot night in the city, so Tommy seeks the fire escape to sleep on for the night.



Tommy hears a noise coming from the neighbors apartment.  He peeks in their window and sees a murder happen!!

Tommy hears a noise coming from the neighbors apartment. He peeks in their window and sees a murder happen!!



Tommy immediately tells mom what he saw, but she dismisses it as a nightmare.

Tommy immediately tells mom what he saw, but she dismisses it as a nightmare.



Tommy tells Dad about the murder but  Dad doesn't believe him!

Tommy tells Dad about the murder but Dad doesn’t believe him!



Ed and Mary discuss the telegram and what to do about visiting the ill sister.

Ed and Mary discuss the telegram and what to do about visiting the ill sister.



The murdering Kellerson's first attempt at snatching Tommy.

The murdering Kellerson’s first attempt at snatching Tommy.



The Kellerson's second attempt at getting Tommy.

The Kellerson’s second attempt at getting Tommy.



Finally Tommy is believed!!

Finally Tommy is believed!!



Filed under: Movies Tagged: Arthur Kennedy, Barbara Hale, Bobby Driscoll, C. K. Bakaleinikoff, Cornell Woolrich, Paul Stewart, Ruth Roman, Ted Tatzlaff, The Window 1949, William Steiner

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