Under a microscope, we are all crazy, it’s not moral to surveil people willy-nilly. But only some murder and dismember their wives.
A bored prize-winning photographer breaks a leg while taking a great picture of a car crash at the racetrack, and needs to heal in his lousy apartment in the crappy part of town. His girlfriend is a rarified elite girl from Park Avenue, one outfit per day, and he resists their marriage because she is not the kind of girl who could go on some assignment in a distant land, where you take a single suitcase and eat fish heads and rice. His loudmouth but motherly nurse visits him daily, and scolds him for throwing away a lovely girl like that.
He’s so bored, he spends his day looking out of the window at the neighbours, a “diverse” cast of characters.
There’s a newly wed couple who never open the blinds, no matter how hot it gets. Sometimes the husband gets some fresh air, and gets immediately called in by his wife, for them to resume consummating that marriage, all day long.
There’s the downstairs sculptor, with all the free time for sunbaths and nosing around, and nor much for improving her downright weird and abstract works.
There’s the upstairs ballet dancer, constantly practising to get better and better, and also rebuffing the advances of many, many men who want a piece of the action. Even our protagonist gets an eyeful several times. She’s actually engaged to some guy away in the army, she remains faithful to the end.
There’s a composer and pianist, trying to create art under the scornful eye of Hitchcock himself, in a cameo. He succeeds in the end.
There’s the older couple, with that annoying dog, sleeping on the fire escape to “escape” the heat. That dog turns into a plot point later on, not just when it digs up the flowers.
There’s Miss Lonelyheart, the ageing Christmas cake drinking herself to sleep, so lonely she even pretends to have dates with imaginary men. When she does dates guys, they just want one night stands. She is about to end it all with sleeping pills, but she is saved by the pianist, in the nick of time.
Finally, there’s the focus of our protagonist, the bickering couple. She’s bedridden, and constantly nags her husband, who is seeing someone on the side. He eventually gets violent, and murders her, but our protagonists take a long time to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. His detective friend also thinks he’s got too much time on his hands, but he checks out his clues anyway, you never know.