A Window in London
A Window in London – 1939 | 76 mins | Drama | B&W
Perhaps one of Herbert Mason‘s more interesting films is A Window in London, a dark and disturbing remake of the French circular drama Métropolitain (1939). The feeling of faint unease that Mason engenders throughout the film is very skilfully done and the only drawback is a miscast Redgrave portraying a working-class Londoner. The central plot was later used for the American comedy Hiss and Yell (1946).
Peter (Michael Redgrave) is a London crane operator working on the construction of Waterloo Bridge. Peter and his wife only meet briefly each day to exchange pleasantries as he works days on the bridge construction and she works nights on a hotel telephone exchange. One morning on his way into work Peter observes what he believes to be an attempted murder in a block of flats adjacent to his railway carriage. He later returns to the flats with a police officer but discovers it was only an ageing stage magician, Zoltini (Paul Lukas), and his wife-turned-assistant Vivienne (Sally Gray) rehearsing an illusion.
Zoltini is incredibly jealous of his attractive wife and becomes certain that she is having an affair with the handsome stranger, but after one argument too many Vivienne does leave him during the ‘vanishing women’ sequence of their act whilst live on stage. The duo take a cab from the theatre and go to Peter’s workplace to contemplate what Vivienne’s next move should be, and they decide to visit her friend and impresario Max (Hartley Power) who generously hands her a cruise-liner ticket for America. Meanwhile, Zoltini is angrily searching for Vivienne and Peter’s wife has been sacked from the hotel.
Herbert Mason: Director
Ralph W Brinton: Art Direction
Glen MacWilliams: Cinematography
Philip Charlot: Film Editing
Richard Norton: Producer
Josef Somlo: Producer
Brigid Cooper: Script
Ian Dalrymple: Script