Shire is the subject of a perverse obsession by a Lesbian neighbor, Andrea, who not only is in lust with her but hires a rapist in order to get audio tapes of her moaning. Ashley turns pepping tom and watches Shire with a telescope as she begins an affair with Det. Cortese.
"Open wide... arggghhoooOOOOOO"
Andrea (Elizabeth Ashley)
One hit blunder from legendary cinematographer Gordon Willis. In 1980 for the first and last time he stepped from behind the camera to direct Windows, a dubious low rent Rear Window plagiarizing thriller with lesbians.
Several of my all time favorite movies (ie Night of the Hunter, Electra Glide in Blue & The War Zone) are by single movie directors. Sadly the same can't be said for Windows, no wonder its been pretty much sat untouched gathering dust in Warners vaults all these years. Its the sort of cheesy thriller you'd expect from some straight to betamax company, I only wish MST3K's Joel or Mike would have riffed it.
[PRFR: Personal Reasons For Remembering]
The only lesbian movie I've ever seen I wanted the woman (slightly aged Elizabeth Ashley) to keep clothed. Ohh and the rapist for hire.
It's never clear just what Windows hopes to accomplish. It's not a mystery, nor is it particularly a thriller, which essentially leaves it a wacky PTSD drama after Talia Shire is tortured in the film's opening. Shire's appeal has always been lost on me, which is why it's delightful watching her clumsily attempt to stutter and endure psychological torment. She's a serious liability, not really a reactionary enough actress to fit the film's tone. The premise is amusing enough; Elizabeth Ashley is Shire's obsessed lesbian neighbor who's tormenting her to bring them closer together. Her goofiest effort involves killing Shire's cat by trapping it in the freezer. Such amusingly demented moments are far and few.
Gordon Willis' first and only directorial credit is about as far from the effective thriller the great cinematographer doubtlessly intended as you can imagine, but as a genuine curio, it's an experience all cinephiles should avail themselves of. The visuals at least don't disappoint, but even more striking is how perversely empty of content- more-than-functional dialogue, surprising incident, humor- nearly every beautifully lit shot is. According to United Artists exec Steven Bach, one of the few people who saw it at the time hated the film so much, he mailed Bach a death threat for releasing it.