The Woman in the Window is a 1944 film noir directed by Fritz Lang that tells the story of psychology professor Richard Wanley (Edward G. Robinson) who meets and becomes enamored of a young femme fatale.
Based on J. H. Wallis' novel Once Off Guard, the story features two surprise twists at the end. Scriptwriter Nunnally Johnson founded International Pictures (his own independent production company) after writing successful films such as The Grapes of Wrath (1940) and other John Ford films, and chose The Woman in the Window as its premiere project. Director Fritz Lang substituted the film's dream ending in place of the originally scripted suicide ending, to conform with the moralistic Production Code of the time.
The term "film noir" originated as a genre description, in part, because of this movie. The term first was applied to American films in French film magazines in 1946, the year when The Maltese Falcon (1941), Double Indemnity (1944), Laura (1944), Murder, My Sweet (1944), and The Woman in the Window were released in France.
In August 2015 the online entertainment magazine Paste named the film as the best film noir of all time.