The Face at the Window

1939

Drama / Horror

1
IMDb Rating 6.0

Synopsis


Downloaded 181 times
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1.23G
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English
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70 min
P/S 1 / 0
800.27M
Normal
English
/
70 min
P/S 0 / 0

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by mgmax 7

Though you often read about the "quota quickies" made in Britain under a law that required a certain amount of screen time to be allotted to local product, you don't see many of them in America-- and for good reason: most were cranked out cheaply just to comply with the law, and are awful. In a few cases, however, the quota quickie laws provided opportunity for Britain's seemingly bottomless reserve of superior stage actors to be preserved on film-- that's why we have them to thank for Arthur Wontner's very fine Sherlock Holmes in some (not nearly as fine) Holmes movies, and it's also why we have a healthy collection of films starring the splendid ham Tod Slaughter, who toured for years as a ripsnorting baddie in authentic Victorian melodramas (such as Sweeney Todd) and transferred a number of them with minimal alteration to film. The Face at the Window is reportedly the highest-budgeted of Slaughter's films, and thus probably isn't technically a quota quickie at all, but it's still brought to the screen with the smell of fresh greasepaint straight from the provinces-- specifically the provinces circa 1895. Slaughter's larger than life performances give us as good a picture of what Victorian audiences ate up as the D'Oyly Carte company did of Gilbert and Sullivan's productions, because like them he was less reviving the old melodramas than carrying on their tradition intact. You may think you've seen people doing the Snidely Whiplash-style villain, and don't need to see them again, but you haven't lived until you've seen a seemingly sane and proper Slaughter dissolve in maniacal glee-- a-ha, ahahaha, ahahahahahahahahaha!

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Reviewed by claudio_carvalho 7

In 1880, the criminal called The Face is responsible for a murderous rampage in France. When the Brisson Bank is robbed in Paris and the employee Michelle is murdered, the wealthy Chevalier Lucio del Gardo (Tod Slaughter) is the only chance to save the bank. Chavalier proposes to the owner M. de Brisson (Aubrey Mallalieu) to deposit a large amount of gold, but in return he would like to marry his daughter Cecile (Marjorie Taylor). However, Cecile is in love with the efficient clerk Lucien Cortier (John Warwick) that belongs to the lower classes and refuses the engagement. In order to get rid off the rival, Chavalier uses evidences to incriminate Lucien, manipulating the incompetent Parisian chief of police.<br/><br/>&quot;The Face at the Window&quot; is dated and delightfully naive, but is also a great entertainment. The story has a despicable villain; the good guy is unfairly accused and has to prove his innocence; the heroine is extremely naive, but has strength to fight for her love; the chief of police is a complete stupid. Tod Slaughter performs another villain with his usual efficiency. My vote is seven.<br/><br/>Title (Brazil): &quot;Um Vulto da Janela&quot; (&quot;A Face at the Window&quot;)

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Reviewed by chrismartonuk-1 8

Forget Karloff &amp; Lugosi. Forget Cushing &amp; Lee, even Price and the Chaneys. Tod is king of horror for one very important reason - he quite evidently enjoys his work. This was the first Tod film I saw and - having heard so much about him prior to this - I feared disappointment. No worries. Despite the cardboard settings and woeful support cast, from the moment he strides masterfully in, we are in the capable hands of a classic film villain. The opening murder with the eerie wolf howl on the soundtracks sets the scene perfectly and then we are treated to an acting masterclass from the great man himself. Whether innocently acting the concerned friend, lecherously trying to sneak a kiss from the heroine, threatening his low-life confederates with a grisly end if they cross him or, worst of all, holding somewhat one-sided conversations with his demented foster brother, Tod holds the film together. The Chevalier is underplayed by Tod compared to Sweeney Todd - but seldom has one man wiggled his eyebrows to more sinister effect. It&#39;s a great pity that Universal studios didn&#39;t try to to entice him over for their classic horror cycle - Tod would&#39;ve made a far more spirited Dracula than John Carradine in the later sequels and can&#39;t you just see him going toe to toe with Basil Rathbone&#39;s Sherlock Holmes. Shame nobody thought of putting him up against Arthur Wontner&#39;s in the UK. The double-exposure effects for the appearance of the &quot;face&quot; are well done for their time and the whole film compares favourably with the Universal classics of the period.<br/><br/>The production values are far higher than is normal for a British quota quickie of the period. The contrast between the spacious elegant rooms of the moneyed classes and the clutter of the Blind Rat - with a wealth of extras and charming Parisian detail such as the dancers - more than foreshadows the class-consciousness Hammer brought to its gothics a few decades later. So does the violent action with Lucien using an oil lamp to devastating effect - his disguise as &quot;Renard&quot; could have been a bit more convincing - and Tod making a sudden getaway by leaping from the window of the scientist&#39;s house and swimming the Seine to safety. John Warwick and Marjorie Taylor make an appealing couple - although Warwick is no match for Eric Portman in the earlier melodramas - and George King is improving as a director with a tightly edited montage of tense faces as the &quot;corpse&quot; slowly stirs into action to write its incriminating message. Tod is less of a central figure with whom we are expected to side with - even through his setbacks - as Stephen Hawke and Sir Percival Glyde were, but is still a marvellously blackhearted villain, as seen in his unsporting behaviour at the duel with pistols with Lucien. This is his finest film.

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