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"The Woman in the Window" : What to Watch Before You Read



“It isn’t really paranoia if it’s really happening…”

I’m going to let you in on a little tip. There’s a book coming out in January 2018 that everyone will be talking about. It’s called The Woman in the Window, by A.J. Finn. It will be the next big “It” book. Think Gone Girl, or The Girl on the Train. Those were “It” books; ones that publishers all fought over in heated auctions; ones with movie buzz before the books even came out. Books that everyone seemed to be talking about. Books with lots of holds. Books that everyone was reading.

I won’t go into specific plot details, so no spoiler alert is necessary. I’ll only note the obvious comparison to thrillers like Rear Window. This book is Hitchcockian. It does not shy away from these kind of comparisons, as the main character’s own movie viewing activities throughout the book provide a comprehensive must-see viewing list of classic films and noir-ish thrillers. And what better way to prepare for the release of an “It” book than to immerse yourself in the materials referenced in the book?

Text from the book is occasionally included below for context. A number of books and authors are referenced throughout the book -- Jude the Obscure, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-5, War and Peace, Anna Karenina, Tennyson, Shakespeare, She's Come Undone ("Come undone. She’s come undone. That was a book, I believe. I never read it.") -- but the list below contains only the films.

A number of these films and other classics are available to stream in Kanopy so if you have a New York Public Library card be sure to check there!

Without further ado, below are all the films referenced in A.J. Finn’s The Woman in the Window. Start watching them now. You have a few months to prepare before the paranoia sets in.


Page 4:

The Man Who Knew Too Much

Page 16:

Out of the Past

Page 17:

Airplane! “Bulbs need changing? It’s dark in here.” I like it dim,” I say. Like my men, I want to add. Is that the joke from Airplane!?"

Page 22:

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

Page 26:

Les Diaboliques “A rat-bastard husband, his “little ruin” of a wife, a mistress, a murder, a vanished corpse. Can you beat a vanished corpse?”

Page 30:

"Graham Greene series @ Angelika this w/e?"

The Fallen Idol

Ministry of Fear

Page 34:

The 39 Steps

“As a teenager I preferred the company of Gene Tierney and Jimmy Stewart to that of my classmates.”

Page 35:

Double Indemnity



The Big Clock

"The Thin Man franchise ranked from best (the original) to worst (Song of the Thin Man)."

“Top movies from the bumper crop of 1944. Joseph Cotten’s finest moments.” 

"Best Hitchcock films not made by Hitchcock:"

Le Boucher

Dark Passage



Sudden Fear “starring Joan Crawford’s eyebrows”

Wait Until Dark

"...movies that postdate Hitch:"

The Vanishing


Side Effects

"Popular film misquotes."



"...the first Holmes film of the talkie era..."

Page 44:

"...Criterion, Kino, Universal's Hitchcock boxed set, assorted film noir collections..."

Star Wars “I’m only human."

Night and the City


Murder, My Sweet

Night Must Fall

Page 46:


Page 50:


The Third Man

Page 55:

Downton Abbey

Page 86:


Page 89:

Dead Calm

Page 97:


Page 102:

Strangers on a Train

Page 117:


Strangers on a Train

North by Northwest

The Lady Vanishes

Page 131:


Page 144:

Dark Passage

Page 145:

The Addams Family

Page 194:

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

The Outlaw

Hot Blood

Page 238:

Shadow of a Doubt

Rear Window

Page 251:

“I feel as though I’m at a movie and the film is over and the lights are up and everyone’s filed out of the theater and I’m still sitting there, trying to work out what happened.”  

He snickers.

"What? What's funny?"

“It’s just that it’s very you to liken this to a movie.” 

Page 290:

Signs “middling film, splendid Bernard Herrmann-esque score…”

Page 321:

Rear Window

Body Double


Gaslight “If I dream things when I’m awake, I’m going out of my mind.”

Page 332:


Page 345:

Midnight Lace

Foreign Correspondent “- the windmill scene, at least.”

23 Paces to Baker Street


Page 348:


Page 350:

Night Must Fall

Page 356:


Page 359:



Page 375:


Rosemary’s Baby

Page 376:


Page 380:

The Good Wife

Page 398:

Shadow of a Doubt

Page 403:

That Darn Cat!




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Woman in the window books list

Thanks, I was about to compile this myself, and you've done it for me.


...for reading!

Thank you for doing this for

Thank you for doing this for me! I was just about to do this myself!

You're welcome

Happy viewing.

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