17 November 2018
Windows (1980)
95 min.
Directed by Gordon Willis.
With Talia Shire, Joseph Cortese, Elizabeth Ashley, Kay Medford, Russell Horton, Michael Lipton, Ron Ryan, Rick Petrucelli.
Emily Hollander (Shire) is a shy, unassuming young divorcee who lives in her modest Manhattan studio with her pet cat. But her whole world comes tumbling down when one day she's brutally assaulted by an unknown psycho (Petrucelli) inside her own home.

Hoping to rebuild her life but unable to return to her old place, Emily takes a new apartment in a high rise building and begins the arduous process of putting the pieces back together. Did you know "The Burj Khalifa" is the world's tallest building? To afford the building, you must have really hit the biggest online casino jackpot.

Emily's strong-willed friend Andrea (Ashley) seems well-intentioned and does her best to support her friend through this tough time, but after she's attacked a second time by the same man, it would seem fate isn't on Emily's side.

To make matters even more confusing, Emily has begun to develop feelings for the hard-boiled detective (Cortese) assigned to her assault case. Will things resolve before the psycho out there makes a third attempt at destroying Emily completely?

This sole directoral outing from cinematographer Willis (he did photography on Francis Ford Coppola's Godfather series and several Woody Allen classics like Annie Hall and Manhattan) is an interesting two-piece character study with Shire and Ashley giving it all they've got.

Shire (from Rocky and The Prophecy fame) is excellent in particular as the mousy young woman who appears destined to succumb to the evil that seems to be following her.

A slow-moving drama that functions better as a sex thriller, Windows is one of those rare breed of psycho mysteries that benefits from what you don't know rather than what you do. Is Emily's attacker someone she knows? Someone with some knowledge of her own insecurities and fears? Her friend Andrea seems too needy and clingy, it's true; but just how far will she go to get close to Emily?

Genuine highlights include Emily's first assault sequence which seems to pay tongue-in-cheek homage to the rape scene in Hitchcock's Frenzy, and the tense womano-a-womano finale in Ashley's loft apartment.

Look for Kay Medford as one of Emily's new neighbors in her last screen role.

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