A classic noir thriller with Robinson in top form as the likeable professor of criminal psychology who finds his most vivid fantasies and fears fulfilled when his wife and kids take a vacation and leave him alone to cope with the evils of the big city. Meeting up (innocently, it seems) with the woman of his dreams - the subject of a painting in a gallery window he passes regularly - he becomes involved first in the violent killing of a man, then in blackmail. Meanwhile his DA pal (Massey) keeps him in touch with the police's search for the killer. With Bennett and Duryea superb as the eponymous heroine and the blackmailer, and atmospheric camerawork by Milton Krasner, it's not merely a dazzling piece of suspense, but also a characteristically stark demonstration of Lang's belief in the inevitability of fate: Robinson, basically a good man, makes one small slip in a moment of relaxation, and he's doomed.
Cast and crew
Edward G Robinson