Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
: John Michael Hayes, Cornell Woolrich
Starring by: James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey
Genres: Mystery, Thriller
Professional photographer L.B. "Jeff" Jefferies breaks his leg while getting an action shot at an auto race. Confined to his New York apartment, he spends his time looking out of the rear window observing the neighbors. He begins to suspect that a man across the courtyard may have murdered his wife. Jeff enlists the help of his high society fashion-consultant girlfriend Lisa Freemont and his visiting nurse Stella to investigate.
Reviewed bytelegonusVote: 9/10/10
Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window, wittily written by John Michael Hayes,is one of his many films I think of as much of a technical exercise asanything else. It is in this sense like his silent The Lodger, thestatic, confined Lifeboat, and the cut-less, one set Rope. Consideredin this light it is a cold masterpiece, playing more with theaudience's thoughts and fears than with its softer, more personalemotions. As such, it is a very cerebral and satisfying piece of work.The plot is deceptively simple: a photographer (James Stewart) is stuckindoors with his leg in a cast during a hot New York summer. Hissocialite girl-friend (Grace Kelly) is eager to marry him but Stewarthas his doubts, since he lives a wandering life and is from a differentsocial class. He spends most of his time idling about and playing withhis camera. In time he becomes a voyeur (which he probably already is,to a degree) and begins to observe his neighbors' private lives, as heviews them through his lens in the courtyard. He develops attitudestoward each of them, ranging from mild amusement to empathy to sexualinterest, depending on who he's looking at. Without realizing it he isreally looking at different aspects of either himself or hisrelationship with Kelly. The courtyard is a kind of mirror of his soul.These people and their predicaments represent different sides of his(and to a lesser extent Miss Kelly's) personality, offering glimpses ofpotential past, present and future selves; and it is not always aflattering picture. The newlyweds are continually having sex; MissTorso is a beautiful young woman who entertains many suitors; there isa childless, somewhat pathetic-seeming middle-aged couple who dote overa pet dog; Miss Lonelyhearts is a depressed, aging spinster with noapparent friends; and the young, bachelor song-writer, when he isn'ttrying to compose songs, is either throwing parties or fits. Then thereare the Thorwalds, a squabbling couple across the way. Stewart is atfirst only slightly interested in them until Mrs. Thorwald disappearsand her husband starts going out at night carrying paper parcels thatlook like they came from a butcher shop. Soon Stewart is,understandably, suspicious. He convinces Kelly that something is amiss,but has trouble with his detective friend. His nurse Stella agrees thatsomething is wrong across the courtyard, and the threesome becomeamateur detectives. Rear Window is great fun. It's a thriller, aromance, a mystery, and at times a comedy of manners. The actors allgive superb, unflashy performances. Hitchcock had been making moviesfor three decades by the time he undertook this one, and he knewexactly what he was doing; everything happens as it should, on time,with no fuss or bother. The courtyard set is magnificently designed andphotographed; it looks both artificial and realistic, and seems almostto change at times, as circumstances dictate. This is, after Dial M ForMurder, Hitchcock's first truly 'fifties' film, which is to say it is afar cry from the genteel romances and spy stuff he'd been doing before.There's less use of atmosphere here, as a new, more independentdirector was emerging, decidedly post-Selznick, often using color.Hitchcock is playing a sort game of cinematic chess, moving people andthings around here and there, changing camera angles slyly, nevershowing his hand. The film lacks only warmth. All sorts of learnedbooks and articles have been written about this picture, some of themquite silly; all at least partly right. This is at times a profoundfilm, but it also aims to entertain, it has a light touch, and it canbe scary, it's romantic about couples and cynical about people. There'sa little bit of everything in it,--it's a work of art.
Reviewed byMichael O'KeefeVote: 9/10
In '54, I was seven years old and this is one of the first 'grown up' movies I remember seeing. I have seen it at least ten times since and realize seeing something different each time.
James Stewart is a photographer in a wheelchair recovering from an accident. He passes the time by watching his neighbors out his apartment window. He thinks that he witnessed a murder and has trouble convincing his girlfriend, Grace Kelly, to help prove a crime was committed.
Three scenes that always stuck with me:(1) Stewart fighting off his attacker with flashbulbs (2) the smoldering kiss (3) the glowing cigarette in the dark apartment.
Every bit a classic. I think this is THE BEST Hitchcock movie. No offense intended toward PSYCHO, but this movie has the more human aspects of fear and terror. This super cast includes Raymond Burr, Thelma Ritter and Wendell Corey.
Reviewed bybLuR-7Vote: 9/10
Having watched it for the second time recently, I was struck by how razor-sharp the film's script actually was. Sure, it didn't have a big Agatha Christie-type mystery reveal; but the banter and repartee between the main characters was just so well-written. Of course, the film's framing and camerawork is legendary (for good reason) and Grace Kelly has a luminous screen presence. Suspenseful, intriguing, and a film that shows off a master at the peak of his craft.