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Fingers at the Window (1942)

In Chicago, an unemployed actor aims to solve the mystery concerning a string of ax murders, apparently committed by a lunatic.


Charles Lederer


Rose Caylor (screenplay), Lawrence P. Bachmann (screenplay) | 1 more credit »


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Complete credited cast:
Lew Ayres ... Oliver Duffy
Laraine Day ... Edwina Brown
Basil Rathbone ... Dr. H. Santelle
Walter Kingsford ... Dr. Cromwall
Miles Mander ... Dr. Kurt Immelman
Charles D. Brown Charles D. Brown ... Inspector Gallagher
Cliff Clark Cliff Clark ... Lt. Allison
James Flavin ... Lt. Schaeffer
Russell Gleason ... Ogilvie
William Tannen ... Devlan
Mark Daniels ... Haguey
Bert Roach ... Krum
Russell Hicks ... Dr. Chandley
Charles Wagenheim Charles Wagenheim ... Fred Bixley
Robert Homans ... Officer O'Garrity


The City of Chicago is gripped by an Axe Murderer. The streets are empty at night as there have been six murders and six people have been caught, but they are lunatics. Only one person has lived to tell about it and that was Edwina, who is as dumb as a brick. If it were not for Oliver, she would be number seven. When there is a second attempt on Edwina, Oliver figures that the crimes are not random and that someone is hypnotizing these people to do his bidding, but the police and Edwina are skeptical. Written by Tony Fontana <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


ROMANCE AT DAYBREAK! (original poster - all caps) See more »


Passed | See all certifications »






Release Date:

15 September 1942 (Mexico) See more »

Also Known As:

Dedos Diab√≥licos See more »


Box Office


$320,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Lew Ayres last film for MGM and his last film until The Dark Mirror (1946) after his service as a medic and chaplain's aide in the Pacific during WWII. See more »


When Oliver Duffy is shoved onto the elevated railroad track, there's enough space between the railroad ties for him to jump down. But when we see him from below clinging to one of the ties, there's no room for anyone to jump below. The ties are just inches apart. See more »


Edwina Brown: It was in Paris that I first saw through men.
Oliver Duffy: Oh, they're most transparent there.
See more »


References The Vanishing Virginian (1942) See more »


Over the Rainbow
(1939) (uncredited)
Music by Harold Arlen
Lyrics by E.Y. Harburg
Whistled by Lew Ayres (whistling dubbed by Robert Bradford)
See more »

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User Reviews

Nice Cast Keeps Film Moving
19 November 2010 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Fingers at the Window (1942)

** 1/2 (out of 4)

An unemployed actor (Lew Ayres) bumps into a woman (Laraine Day) being chased by what he appears to be a madman. The two strike up a friendship and sure enough it turns out that a man carrying an axe was after her. Chicago is under terror from a notorious axe murderer but the two new friends start to investigate what's going on and it appears there's not just one killer. FINGERS AT THE WINDOW certainly isn't a masterpiece of the genre but there are enough good moments to make it worth viewing. The film not only centers in on the thriller genre but we get some laughs thrown in as well as a romantic subplot between the two stars and believe it or not it actually works. The romantic angle usually always kills these films but you can tell Ayres and Day are very comfortable together and they know how to play off one another. There's a lot of flirting going on and it's clear the two are having fun. I do think some of the comedy falls short but it doesn't hurt the film too much. Both Ayres and Day fit their roles quite nicely and they manage to pick this thing up and carry it to the finish line even when the screenplay gets a tad bit bogged down. Ayres is extremely fast moving and that wise guy attitude he brings to this actor character was fun. Basil Rathbone plays, you guess it, the doctor who is doing the experiments to get all the murders going. It should come as no shock but the actor has no trouble with the role and manages to be very believable as the bad guy. One of the best scenes happens early on when Day is being stalked by the man with the axe and we get to watch Ayres try to save her even when she doesn't want him. This scene takes place in the dark streets and then moves up to her apartment room and we actually get some nice suspense here. I think a tighter screenplay would have helped things and the ending doesn't work that effectively but overall this is a decent little picture well worth seeing.

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