Windows (film)

Windows is a 1980 American horror film directed by Gordon Willis and starring Talia Shire, Joseph Cortese and Elizabeth Ashley.

Theatrical release poster
Directed byGordon Willis
Produced byMike Lobell
Written byBarry Siegel
StarringTalia Shire
Joseph Cortese
Elizabeth Ashley
Music byEnnio Morricone
CinematographyGordon Willis
Edited byBarry Malkin
Mike Lobell Productions
Distributed byUnited Artists
Release date
‹See TfM›
  • January 18, 1980 (1980-01-18)
Running time
94 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$2,128,395


Willis was the cinematographer of some of the more acclaimed films of the 1970s, including The Godfather (and its sequel The Godfather Part II), All the President's Men, Annie Hall and others. The movies in The Godfather Trilogy co-starred Talia Shire, who is the star of the film. This was his only feature for directing a movie.


Emily Hollander (Shire) is the subject of a lesbian obsession of Andrea Glassen (Ashley), her next-door neighbor.

Emily, a shy, recently divorced woman, lives alone in a New York City apartment. A man forces his way into her apartment and performs a bizarre "rape." He forces her to make sounds of erotic satisfaction, capturing them on his tape recorder. She reports the attack to the police, and while they are 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. This time, Andrea just happens to be visiting Emily, and she is able to prevent the man from entering Emily's apartment.

It soon becomes apparent that Andrea is not the helpful neighbor that she seems. She has the recording that were made during Emily's first attack. Andrea has developed an erotic fascination with Emily. She hired a taxi driver to perform the attacks, with the purpose of gaining the recording, to which she repeatedly listens to and eventually recites while fantasizing of Emily. Unaware of the situation, Emily continues to view Andrea as a friend. She also begins a relationship with the police detective (Cortese) who responded to her case. At this intrusion into her fantasy, Andrea becomes increasingly unhinged. She takes to spying on Emily through a telescope.

When Emily unwittingly hails a taxi driven by the very man who assaulted her, he strikes up a conversation "because you look familiar." She finally realizes who the man is and asks him to stop at a phone booth. She calls the police, who advise 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. Andrea professes her love for Emily, but Emily slaps her hard on the face and tells a devastated, weeping Andrea that they never will speak to each other again. Her ordeal over, Emily greets the detective at her front door.


  • Talia Shire as Emily Hollander
  • Joe Cortese as Bob Luffrono (as Joseph Cortese)
  • Elizabeth Ashley as Andrea Glassen
  • Kay Medford aa Ida Marx
  • Michael Gorrin as Sam Marx
  • Russell Horton as Steven Hollander
  • Michael Lipton as Dr. Marin
  • Rick Petrucelli as Lawrence Obecny
  • Ron Ryan as Detective Swid
  • Linda Gillen as Police Woman
  • Tony DiBenedetto as Nick
  • Bryce Bond as Voice Over
  • Ken Chapin as Renting Agent
  • Marty Greene as Ira
  • William Handy as Desk Officer (as Bill Handy)
  • Robert Hodge as Desk Sergeant
  • Kyle Scott Jackson as Detective
  • Pat McNamara as Doorman
  • Gerry Vichi as Ben
  • Oliver as Jennifer the Cat


The film was the subject of many protests from gay rights activists who accused the film of being homophobic and resorting to hateful stereotypes of lesbians.[1] David Denby attacked the film, writing "Windows exists only in the perverted fantasies of men who hate lesbians so much they will concoct any idiocy in order to slander them."[2]

Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert selected the film as one of their "dogs of the year" in a 1980 episode of Sneak Previews.[3]

Gordon Willis admitted the film had been a mistake,[4][5] and later said of directing that he didn't really like it. "I've had a good relationship with actors," he reflected, "but I can do what I do and back off. I don't want that much romancing. I don't want them to call me up at two in the morning saying 'I don't know who I am'".[6]

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Recipient Result Ref
1980 Golden Raspberry Awards Worst Picture Mike Lobell Nominated [7]
Worst Screenplay Barry Siegel Nominated [7]
Worst Actress Talia Shire Nominated [7]
Worst Supporting Actress Elizabeth Ashley Nominated [7]
Worst Director Gordon Willis Nominated [7]
1980 Stinkers Bad Movie Awards Worst Supporting Actress Elizabeth Ashley Nominated [8]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ The celluloid closet
  2. ^ Phillips, Kendall R. (2008). Controversial Cinema: The Films That Outraged America. ABC-CLIO. p. 35. ISBN 1567207243.
  3. ^ Sneak Previews: Worst of 1980
  4. ^ Feeney, Mark (January 14, 2007). "A Study in Contrasts". The Boston Globe.
  5. ^ Quoted on NPR affiliate Retrieved 4 March 2011
  6. ^ Peary, Gerald (August 2003). "Gerald Peary: Gordon Willis". Boston Phoenix. Retrieved March 4, 2011 – via
  7. ^ a b c d e "First Annual RAZZIE® Awards (For 1980)". March 31, 1981. Retrieved August 7, 2015.
  8. ^

External linksEdit