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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 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.

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