- Movie Rating -

Windows (1980)

| January 18, 1980

No one would actively refuse the great cinematographer Gordon Willis the chance to direct a movie.  After all, this is the famed DP of such great films as The Godfather and Manhattan, but one might be open to suggest that he might have chosen better material.  Windows might just as well have been directed by a no-name director-for-hire wanting to break into the business.  Why did Willis waste his time on this film?

Windows is, bottom to top, a trashy exploitation picture.  How trashy?  Let me count the ways.  It’s about a young New Yorker named Emily who is not only painfully shy but also a stutterer and is in the throes of a divorce.  She comes home one night and is attacked by a creep who puts a knife to her throat and tells her to plead for mercy into a tape recorder.  She survives the attack and a few days later she is in a cab driven, in a bizarre coincidence, by the same guy.

He explains that he was paid to carry out that attack and, yes, we are somewhat surprised by the identity of that person.  But the identity of that person comes so early in the picture that it has really nowhere else to go.  The rest of the movie robs us of any kind of discovery and so the back half of the movie is just a lot of screaming, and heavy breathing, and pleading and threatening and chases and fights and battles to the end.

Naturally, since the movie is helmed by Gordon Willis, it looks very good.  But on the basic level of script functionality, he seems to be totally ignorant.  The narrative structure of the film is so off-balance, so oddly constructed the material so distasteful that you wonder why he even bothered at all.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(1980) View IMDB Filed in: Uncategorized