Cult Movies

Cult Movie Essentials: Windows (1979)

A creepy obsession film that may have influenced Single White Female. Is it a great film… not really but it is worth watching for the way the Police act throughout the entire film!

Yo! Adrain herself Talia Shire stars as Emily Hollander – the subject of a lesbian obsession at the hands of Andrea Glassen (Elizabaeth Ashley), her next-door neighbor. As Emily begins dating detective Bob Luffrono (Joe Cortese), Andrea overflows with jealousy, spying on Hollander through her own window.

Emily, a shy, recently divorced woman, lives alone in a New York apartment. In the opening scene a man has forced his way into her apartment and performs a bizarre “rape” – he forces her to make sounds of erotic satisfaction, and captures them on his tape recorder. She reports the attack to the police the following day, and while they are still interviewing her, Andrea stops by to comfort her.

Emily seeks safety by moving to an apartment in another section of the city. However, while she is moving out, the same man tries to attack her again – but this time Andrea conveniently passes by, and is able to prevent the man from entering Emily’s apartment.

It becomes apparent that Andrea is not the helpful neighbor that she seemed – for starters, she has the recording made during Emily’s first attack. Andrea has developed an erotic fascination with Emily, apparently developed as she has observed Emily through the apartment’s windows. She hired a local taxi driver to perform the attacks, with the purpose of gaining the recording, to which she repeatedly listens while fantasizing of Emily. Emily, unaware of the situation, continues to view Andrea as a friend. She also begins a relationship with the policeman who responded to her case. At this intrusion into her fantasy, Andrea becomes increasingly unhinged, and takes to spying on Emily through a telescope.

When Emily unwittingly hails a taxi driven by the very man who assaulted her a few days previously, he strikes up a conversation with her “because she looks familiar”. She finally realizes who the man is, and asks him to stop at a phone booth (so she can call the police). Amazingly, the police department advises her to get back into the taxi and engage the man in harmless conversation until they can arrive to assist her.

With the taxi driver getting arrested and confessing to the entire plot, Emily and Andrea have a confrontation where Andrea professes her love for Emily, but Emily slaps her hard in the face and tells a devastated, weeping Andrea that they will never speak to or see each other again. Her ordeal over, Emily finishes the movie by greeting Det. Luffrono at her front door and happily inviting him to have coffee.

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