Every film from Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" essays.
It only takes one witness to spoil the perfect crime.
Professional photographer L.B. "Jeff" Jeffries 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.
Although most recent critical attention has been reserved for Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, thanks to its vertiginous placement atop Sight & Sound’s prestigious critics poll, it could be argued that not only does his seminal 1954 picture, Rear Window, most clearly represent the director’s own obsessions but that it may well be his greatest achievement as a filmmaker.
Even if you haven’t seen the film yourself (and if you haven’t stop reading this review and watch it now) you will at least be familiar with the story. Not only has the plot of a wheelchair bound photographer who believes he has witnessed a murder become ingrained in the public’s consciousness but it has been remade and re-imagined numerous times in many different…
The year of 1954 saw director Alfred Hitchcock in sublime form as he delivered not one but two back-to-back masterpieces of its genre & cemented his status as the greatest filmmaker of thrillers & suspense. While one of the two was Dial M for Murder which even today remains one of his most enjoyable & entertaining works, the other is Rear Window which many consider to be one of the greatest films ever made.
Rear Window perfectly demonstrates the impulse of morbid curiosity and tells the story of a wheelchair bound photographer who, while confined in his apartment, spends his recovery time by spying on his neighbours through the rear window. Things are set in motion when he becomes obsessed with a particular…
A few days ago I had a discussion with a friend about cinema and he told me about his love for classic movies, like this one, and how movies from the 50s, by example, were often movies with a very simple plot but executed in such an artistic and flawless way that they became classics, and that's what I felt all the time watching this movie. The idea of a guy spending his time in the window because of his injury is incredible simple, but offers many possibilities, explored with maestry by Hitchcock, in a way that I can feel nothing less than pure admiration for his work. Actually, at some point I felt like watching a movie that defines…
Intelligence. Nothing has caused the human race so much trouble as intelligence.
A perfect film if ever there was one. I feel like I might proclaim that every time I watch a film by Alfred Hitchcock, but in truth I don't think all his films are perfect. He's just made so many that are or near perfect that it seems like I say that all the time. I have however seen Rear Window enough times that I have no doubts about it being a masterpiece from the master.
This film has been unofficially remade several times in film and television but has never come close to the original. Hitchcock often called the Master of Suspense, was also the master…
Contrary to popular belief, Rear Window is not a perfect film. It's a film, after all, that has James Stewart seriously considering breaking up with Grace Kelly because she's too perfect for him.
I do wonder if LB Jefferies was an inspiration to Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David when they wrote Seinfeld, what with all the disastrous dates and relationships that were broken up in that series over the most mystifying of reasons. I wouldn't be surprised to find out this was the case. But Rear Window is one of those films whose influence has not just been confined to thrillers, mysteries and even 'one location' films -…
Now I know where Disturbia got it's entire plot from.
Rear Window creates the perfect problem a movie can have: it creates a world so vivid, you'd like to stay a bit longer.
It's a lot of very slow buildup that culminates in a rather quick but effectively suspenseful final few minutes (everything that comes before significantly lacks in the suspense department - disappointing my expectations). The main character can be a little irritating and seem like a wackadoo at times, but Grace Kelly is great.
With: Matt Jackett
Where: List Art Center (MCM Screening)
The film opens with a tour around the courtyard and an introduction to the characters whose lives we will be peeping on - There's the shapely dancer "Miss Torso" who is object of many men's desires, "The Songwriter", "Ms Lonleyhearts", a desperately lonely middle-aged woman, "Mr and Mrs Balcony" and their little dog, "The Honeymooners", and "The Salesman" and his wife - then we come to our fellow voyeur and protagonist L. B. Jeffries played by the infallible James Stewart. From that point on we live in Jeffries apartment and see only what he sees. When The Salesman's wife disappears under strange circumstances Jeffries becomes obsessed with discovering if there has been foul play and we must decide if Jeffries…
A classic through and through. The right players are here and the tension is ramped up to the max. A true classic of its genre.
I will say that I forgot how anti-climatic the ending really is but having the presence of Grace Kelly negates all of that.
Alfred Hitchcock’s film “Read Window” could definitely have been an inspiration source for the makers of “Disturbia”. But ten times better and without the irritating Shia Labeouf. In short: both films are about a man/boy who are bound to their homes and because of boredom they start ‘spying’ on their neighbours and think they witness a murder.
In the case of “Rear Window” the main character Jeff (James Stewart) is a photographer who is bound to his apartment because of a broken leg. The only two persons who visits him regularly are his girlfriend Lisa, played by the always good-looking Grace Kelly and his nurse Stella (Thelma Ritter). Out of boredom he starts observing his neighbours and he definitely enjoys…
Rear Window seems to have leaped into top spot as my favourite Hitchcock film. I've seen many of Hitch's movies over the years, and I have had a variety of faves.... one after the other.... like Shadow of a Doubt, Strangers on a Train, Dial M for Murder, Vertigo, and North by Northwest. I still deeply admire all of these - except Vertigo, which has not aged well for me. C'est la vie.
But Rear Window remains a remarkable achievement. The entire picture takes place in a single room, where Jimmy Stewart is stuck in a full leg cast, peeping out his window at all of his neighbours across the courtyard. His sedentary entertainment. Yet there is no lack of…
One thing that was annoying me before watching REAR WINDOW was that I was having some trouble identifying Hitchcock's "auteuristic ticks", if you will. The man really was making Hollywood movies, and it can be tough to properly connect the more subtle dots in what is so clearly designed for mass consumption. (this kind of made me feel kinder towards the concept of vulgar auteurism, but let's not get too sidetracked so early)
So what do I, from the height of expertise gathered by watching his three most obvious movies, feel are his "ticks"? Well, I think I identified two.
The first one is how long he'll take to introduce the actual premise of the movie. This is arguably even…
I need to watch this again, on more than two hours sleep.
One of my All Time Favorites
- 12 Angry Men
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
- 25th Hour
- 3 Women
- A Trip to the Moon
- The Great Train Robbery
- The Birth of a Nation
- Les Vampires
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1154. An easy way of seeing how…
- The Godfather
- Seven Samurai
- The Godfather: Part II
- 12 Angry Men
most recent update - Saturday, October 18, 2014, 10:30 PM EST
The letterboxd crew has unveiled a new feature that…