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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…
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…
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…
Like L.B. Jefferies, you can't help but look. The cinema, in a nutshell, is a voyeuristic lifestyle. Every time those lights go down, every time new characters are introduced, and every time a frame does by; the collective audience is being drawn deeper into another world. In the best movies, you feel different and you know more about the world as the final shot rolls around.
Rear Window, one of Alfred Hitchcock's finest works, is an utterly incredible tale of voyeurism in miniature. Every open window in the blistering apartment complex that Hitchcock's camera resides in leads to another character, another emotion, another scene, and another mystery. The suspense, the humor, the direction, the music, gorgeous Grace Kelly, James Stewart…
Just scared the crap out of the kids with this. Their first Hitchcock.
This review may contain spoilers.
Rear Window, Structuring the Viewer's Response:
Hitchcock isn’t referred to as the master of suspense without good reason, and his direction in Rear Window is one of the best instances of how Hitchcock builds tension, bit by bit, over and over again, until the audience reaches their boiling point. In this brief "essay," I will be deconstructing a sequence in the film that perfectly exemplifies not just how Hitchcock structures suspense in his films, and the viewer’s response to said suspense, but how the great director structures audience response in general.
Early on in the film, the viewer comes to learn that our protagonist, Jeff, has a wonderful girlfriend who loves him very much. He…
Voyerism is a subject that has amassed (and rightly so) a negative connotation. That is somewhat altered after at least one viewing of this film. Hitchcock again guides us through the world of James Stewart (which due to an accident that broke his leg) is confined to his stuffy manhattan apartment. He finds joy in two things; Grace Kelly who plays a highly stylish model that visits Stewart once every week, and his apartment window through which he voyeuristically peers at each of his neighbors. I won't spoil the film, but James Stewart gives an excellent performance in this film and although h3 is often mentioned in conjuncture with the bloated film Vertigo, this is his definitive performance in movies. I highly recommend this movie.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
It’s amazing to see how Hitchcock did such a great film without changing setting, because such as Jeff we can see through the neighbors windows, we don’t get to see the inside of the apartments. And that limitation is exactly what makes us doubt if Lars did kill his wife or not. The absence of the act itself triggers our imagination such as it did to Stella.
Rewatched in my film class, gets better every time I watch it! Grace Kelly is understated.
Once every year, the employees of NSA gather round to watch this film and then pat each other on the back at the end, "See, James Stewart can do it, why not us?"
It's like watching TV. No matter what's going on in life, you're better off tuning into everyone else's.
Perhaps Hitchcock's most meticulously constructed film... and his most gleefully perverse. Voyeurism; impotence; adultery; strangulation; dismemberment; this one has it all! But that's not to detract from the vibrant tableau of a crowded neighbourhood in a sweltering summer, and how this urban landscape functions to externalise the psychic turmoil of our restless, twitchy protagonist. Each time I see it, there's something fresh to appreciate. Only just noticed that the music is purely diegetic -- there's no score added to signpost the drama -- which enhances the atmosphere further.
One of Hitchcock's best films is also one of his funniest.
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1187. An easy way of seeing how…
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