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For, Friday, May 31, 2019

EDITOR’S NOTE: Lots of thrillers are Hitchcock wannabes, that is, they seek to emulate Alfred Hitchcock’s singular style and his ability to put the audience off kilter while engrossing them in thrilling action. Among the more successful Hitchcockish films by other filmmakers are ‘Charade,’ ‘The Prize,’ ‘Last Embrace’ and ‘The Silent Partner.’ And this one — a surprisingly successful, if obvious, attempt to emulate The Master of Suspense. My review was published in the Deseret News on Jan. 16, 1987, and now Kino Lorber has gifted fans with a new Blu-ray upgrade.

When do you forgive a thriller that’s excessively implausible and full of plot holes? When it’s so much fun you forget to notice the silliness until it’s all over.

Such was the case for me with “The Bedroom Window.” 

Hardly vintage Hitchcock (despite the ad that says it is “in the tradition of the Master of Suspense”), “The Bedroom Window” is nonetheless highly entertaining, with enough chills and chuckles to carry its weight — and some wonderful performances to boot.

The story has Steve Guttenberg romancing his boss’s wife, Isabelle Huppert, when one night she witnesses an attempted rape-murder outside Guttenberg’s bedroom window. The victim is Elizabeth McGovern.


Elizabeth McGovern, left, Steve Guttenberg, Isabelle Huppert, 'The Bedroom Window'

Guttenberg didn’t see any of this, but to keep his affair with Huppert under wraps, he pretends to be the witness and tries to help police catch the rapist-killer that has been stalking the neighborhood.

But he has to rely on Huppert’s information, of course, and things don’t go well — especially when the killer finally comes to trial. To make matters worse, before long Guttenberg himself is a suspect in the rash of killings.

The first half of the film focuses on Guttenberg and Huppert, the second half on Guttenberg and McGovern, and though the film is going quite well anyway, McGovern really brings it alive. Though she is called upon to do some rather unbelievable things, McGovern gives a wonderful performance, her best in some time, and makes the proceedings a lot of fun.

To tell more about the story would spoil the surprises, and there are several. But suffice it to say that what we have here is very slick Hollywood material, designed strictly for entertainment — and it succeeds on that level very well.


In addition to McGovern, Huppert is as mesmerizing as ever, and fans of her many French films (she was also in “Heaven’s Gate”) will enjoy her work here.  

The surprise, however, is Guttenberg. Usually playing wiseacre Bill Murray/Tom Hanks types, Guttenberg is best known for his roles in the “Police Academy” films (he’ll also be in the upcoming fourth in that series) and “Cocoon.” But in “The Bedroom Window” he plays it straight and is rather appealing as a leading man in the Cary Grant/James Stewart mold.

And writer-director Curtis Hanson does a fine job of blending thrills and humor and stylish camera movement.

Rated R for violence, sex, nudity and profanity, “The Bedroom Window” won’t make you forget “Rear Window” or “The Man Who Knew Too Much,” but it’s enjoyable suspenseful fluff.