Rear Window (1954) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: 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. Runtime: 112 mins Release Date: 13 Jan 1954
After viewing 'Rear Window' again, I've come to realize that Alfred Hitchcock was not only a great moviemaker but also a great moviewatcher. In the making of 'Rear Window,' he knew exactly what it is about movies that makes them so captivating. It is the illusion of voyeurism that holds our attention just as it held Hitchcock's. The ability to see without being seen has a spellbinding effect. Why else is it so uncommon to have characters in movies look directly into the camera? It just isn't as fun to watch someone when they know you're there. When we watch <more>
movies, we are participating in looking into another world and seeing the images of which we have no right to see and listening to the conversations that we should not hear. 'Rear Window' and Powell's 'Peeping Tom' are some of the best movies that aren't afraid to admit this human trait. We are all voyeurs.When watching 'Rear Window,' it is better to imagine Alfred Hitchcock sitting in that wheelchair rather than Jimmy Stewart. When the camera is using longshots to watch the neighborhood, it is really Hitchcock watching, not Stewart. Hitchcock's love of voyeurism is at the center of this movie, along with his fascination with crime and his adoration of the Madonna ideal.In many of Hitchcock's movies, 'Rear Window,' 'Vertigo,' 'Psycho,' 'The Birds,' etc, the blonde actresses are objects. Notice how rarely they get close with the male leads. In 'Vertigo,' Stewart's character falls in love with the image of Madeleine; in 'Psycho,' we see the voyeur in Hitchcock peeking out of Norman Bates at Marion; and in 'Rear Window,' Jeff would rather stare out of his window than to hold the beautiful Lisa by his side. For Hitchcock, these women are ideals that should be admired rather than touched.However, the story of 'Rear Window' isn't about the image of women, as it is in 'Vertigo.' 'Rear Window' focuses more on seduction of crime, not in committing it but in the act of discovering it. At one point in the story, Jeff's friend convinces him that there was no murder, and Jeff is disappointed, not because someone wasn't dead but because he could no longer indulge into his fantasy that someone was. Think how popular crime shows are on television, and noir films at the movies. People do not want to commit crimes; they want to see other people commit them.'Rear Window' is one of the most retrospective movies I've ever seen. In a span of two hours, it examines some of the most recurrent themes in film. When we watch 'Rear Window,' it is really us watching someone watch someone else. And all the while, Hitchcock is sitting on the balcony and seeing our reaction. It is an act of voyeurism layered on top of itself, and it allows us to examine our own behavior as we are spellbound in Hitchcock's world. The only thing that I feel is missing in the movie is a scene of Jeff using his binoculars and seeing himself in a mirror. Why did Hitchcock leave it out? Maybe because it would have been too obvious what he was doing. Or maybe he was afraid that the audience would see themselves in the reflection of the lens.
Well of course when you've got nothing better to do with a broken leg you will accuse your neighbor of murder! (by Smells_Like_Cheese)
Finally, I watched "Rear Window" by famous Alfred Hitchcock. First off, I saw this movie on the top 250, and it's #14 on top of that! I mean, it's gotta be great or a classic, right? Also, I'm a fan of the Simpsons, and I got the 6th season where Bart breaks his leg and has to watch the kids outside and accuses Flanders of murdering his wife, Maude. I watched it with commentary and the writers said this was taken from the movie "Rear Window", I had to see this movie! I know it sounds silly that I was more inspired by a show, but it's a good reference if <more>
it's from The Simpsons."Rear Window" is an excellent movie and a great classic that should never be forgotten! After 51 years, this is still a well talked about movie and I can see why. Jimmy Stewart, he's just so great as L.B., I loved his madness and his dark comical role. He doesn't even try, but you can't help but laugh at a lot of his lines, the way he looks, and the way he presents every scene. He didn't have a lot of movement, he is confined to a wheel chair, but he is so effective and perfect. No one could have replaced him as L.B., he's a terrific actor! Grace Kelly, what a beauty! Beauty and talent, what a great combination and she had it. Playing Liza, I loved her character so much. She started out as this extremely feminine lovely woman who is struggling with L.B., because he is having doubts about marrying her, and you can tell she loves him so much and is willing to do anything for him and to make their lives work, despite his adventurous side as a photographer and her being an indoor kitten. When L.B. talks of the murder to Liza, she is doubtful but never dismisses that it could be a possibility, and stays with him into the end. She finally goes into danger and grabs it by the you know what and wins L.B.'s heart.I loved the ending, to me it was just one more good laugh with L.B. and Liza. I won't tell, you'll just have to trust me, it was a brilliant way to breath and smile again after all the suspense and drama. "Rear Window" is a true classic and I'm extremely grateful to the reviewers of IMDb who saw this movie and gave it great reviews, and the writers of The Simpsons! If it were not for you guys, I nor other members of my generation would probably not view it! Let's keep this classic alive! 10/10
Reading from Top to Bottom...Hitchcock's Sophisticated Masterpiece (by dtb)
Not only does REAR WINDOW RW have Alfred Hitchcock's trademark wit, suspense, and romance with a touch of friction in spades, but it's one of his most well-crafted, cleverly-staged movies; in fact, even though RW is based on a Cornell Woolrich story, I can't imagine this story being told as effectively in any medium other than cinema. However, the technical accomplishments explained most entertainingly in the DVD's documentaries would be nothing without the engaging characters. James Stewart's neighbors are interesting enough to warrant their own movies, and in <more>
addition to providing a wry microcosm of New York City life the only dated thing about it is the lack of air conditioning , they all reflect possible outcomes for the somewhat stormy romance between laid-up shutterbug Stewart and the luminous Grace Kelly as his upscale fashion maven inamorata. As Brent Spiner said while hosting a showing of RW on TNT, the real perversion of the film is Stewart's reluctance to commit to the irresistible Kelly! In fact, one of the things I like about the movie is the way it shows these two very different people gradually learning to compromise and work together. The piquant final shot shows that a woman can have a happy relationship with a man without submerging her own personality -- refreshing for the 1950s! Great supporting cast, too, including Wendell Corey, Raymond Burr in one of his last bad-guy roles before PERRY MASON, and the scene-stealing Thelma Ritter. Incidentally, the restored special edition RW DVD was put together just in time to include Georgine Darcy "Miss Torso" , then one of the last surviving cast members. Darcy died earlier this year; she will be missed.
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 as anything else. It is in this sense like his silent The Lodger, the static, confined Lifeboat, and the cut-less, one set Rope. Considered in this light it is a cold masterpiece, playing more with the audience's thoughts and fears than with its softer, more personal emotions. As such, it is a very cerebral and satisfying piece of work. The plot is deceptively simple: a photographer James Stewart is stuck indoors with his leg in a cast during a <more>
hot New York summer. His socialite girl-friend Grace Kelly is eager to marry him but Stewart has his doubts, since he lives a wandering life and is from a different social class. He spends most of his time idling about and playing with his camera. In time he becomes a voyeur which he probably already is, to a degree and begins to observe his neighbors' private lives, as he views them through his lens in the courtyard. He develops attitudes toward each of them, ranging from mild amusement to empathy to sexual interest, depending on who he's looking at. Without realizing it he is really looking at different aspects of either himself or his relationship 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 of potential past, present and future selves; and it is not always a flattering picture. The newlyweds are continually having sex; Miss Torso is a beautiful young woman who entertains many suitors; there is a childless, somewhat pathetic-seeming middle-aged couple who dote over a pet dog; Miss Lonelyhearts is a depressed, aging spinster with no apparent friends; and the young, bachelor song-writer, when he isn't trying to compose songs, is either throwing parties or fits. Then there are the Thorwalds, a squabbling couple across the way. Stewart is at first only slightly interested in them until Mrs. Thorwald disappears and her husband starts going out at night carrying paper parcels that look 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 that something is wrong across the courtyard, and the threesome become amateur detectives. Rear Window is great fun. It's a thriller, a romance, a mystery, and at times a comedy of manners. The actors all give superb, unflashy performances. Hitchcock had been making movies for three decades by the time he undertook this one, and he knew exactly what he was doing; everything happens as it should, on time, with no fuss or bother. The courtyard set is magnificently designed and photographed; it looks both artificial and realistic, and seems almost to change at times, as circumstances dictate. This is, after Dial M For Murder, Hitchcock's first truly 'fifties' film, which is to say it is a far cry from the genteel romances and spy stuff he'd been doing before. There's less use of atmosphere here, as a new, more independent director was emerging, decidedly post-Selznick, often using color. Hitchcock is playing a sort game of cinematic chess, moving people and things around here and there, changing camera angles slyly, never showing his hand. The film lacks only warmth. All sorts of learned books and articles have been written about this picture, some of them quite silly; all at least partly right. This is at times a profound film, but it also aims to entertain, it has a light touch, and it can be scary, it's romantic about couples and cynical about people. There's a little bit of everything in it,--it's a work of art.
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 <more>
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.
What Have You Done with Her? (by claudio_carvalho)
In New York, the daring photographer L. B. Jefferies James Stewart has been confined to his small apartment for five weeks in a wheelchair with one broken leg. He snoops his neighbors from his rear window to kill time and he is aware of the personal dramas of some of them. His fancy girlfriend Lisa Carol Fremont Grace Kelly is pressing him to marry her but he believes she will not fit and feel comfortable with his brash lifestyle. When the invalid wife of the salesman Lars Thorwald Raymond Burr vanishes, Jeff believes the man might have killed his wife. He tells his concerns to Lisa and <more>
to his nurse Stella Thelma Ritter and the women agree with his observations, but his friend Detective Thomas J. Doyle Wendell Corey finds reasonable explanation for each remark. However, Lisa decides to go further in her investigation, getting closer to the suspect."Rear Window" is one of my favorite classics ever and I do not know precisely how many times I have watched this film. There are many rip-offs of this simple story but none of them gets closer to this wonderful film. The first difference is in the direction of Alfred Hitchcock, a refined director with the subtle and witty British humor, capable to give meaning to a scene with one word or expression of his characters. The awesome James Stewart and the gorgeous and classy Grace Kelly show a perfect chemistry and it is impressive the beauty and elegance of the future princess of Monaco. Thelma Ritter is excellent in the role of the caustic nurse Stella. This time, the cameo of Alfred Hitchcock is in the apartment of the composer twiddling his clock. My vote is nine.Title Brazil : "Janela Indiscreta" "Indiscreet Window"
This is the quintessential Hitchcock flick, easy to understand, addictively interesting, featuring great stars Grace Kelly and James Stewart , familiar bit players Thelma Ritter in one of her best roles as Stewart's talkative nurse , and a kind of almost imperceptible satire on the human animal. In this case, Hitchcock has glorious fun displaying a whole range of human behaviors through the device of watching them through a Greenwich Village rear window before the age of air conditioners when everyone had to leave their windows open and some even slept on the fire escape–I've <more>
done that to cope with the appalling heat and humidity during an eastern seaboard heatwave.James Stewart stars as L.B. Jeffries, an adventurerous photographer who has a broken leg and is confined to his apartment in a cast while it heals. Bored beyond belief, he becomes a voyeur of his neighbors. Meanwhile there is his girlfriend, none other than Grace Kelly playing a "too perfect" socialite intent on winning his heart and soul. Trouble is Jeff worries that it won't work out, that they are essentially incompatible, she a socialite, who always goes first class, he a roughing it man of the world comfortable with second class accommodations. Naturally the audience me! finds it incredible that he isn't madly in love with her.Raymond Burr long TV's Perry Mason in gray hair and specks has an interesting role as Lars Thorwald, seen almost entirely from a distance across the courtyard doing very suspicious things with knives and suitcases and mysterious comings and goings in the middle of the night. Bored voyeurs wonder what is going on. There is some light romantic play between Stewart and Kelly, but it is decidedly secondary to the voyeuristic adventures seen through the rear window: the saga of Miss Lonelyhearts, the ardor of the newlyweds, the angst of the songwriter, the exhibitionism of the dancing beauty, the pampered dog in a basket, and Thorwald and his invalid and then missing wife. Hitchcock's America at midcentury. Each of the little stories within the story has a plot and a resolution: Miss Lonelyhearts finds her man. The songwriter finds somebody who appreciates his work. Dancing beauty's man looking from a distance a little like Woody Allen in an army uniform returns. The groom seeks a break from his exhaustive marital duties, etc. Hitchcock's sense of satire has the softest touch, which is why, I think, he is so beloved. In the final scene Grace Kelly, finding her man asleep, puts down the adventure book she is reading for his benefit and picks up Harper's Bazaar to check the fashions. One gets the sense of future marital bliss and especially, marital reality.There is some tension and some mystery, but nothing too strenuous for little old ladies from Pasadena, and nothing to offend anybody and nothing too graphic. You can see this with the kids and your maiden aunt and all will find it interesting. See it for Thelma Ritter, the sadonic character actress of many films, most notably this and All About Eve 1950 . Note: Over 500 of my movie reviews are now available in my book "Cut to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote!" Get it at Amazon!
As far as I know, this is a huge favorite with older folks. Kids of today would be bored to death with this famous Alfred Hitchcock film. I went on a bit of a roller-coaster ride myself regarding how I viewed this movie. When I first saw it on the big screen as a kid, I was fascinated and almost terrified at the end. Years later, watching it twice within five years on VHS, I found it boring with Grace Kelly's dialog annoyingly corny and dated. Recently I viewed it again - a fourth try - and absolutely loved it. Next to Psycho, it's now my favorite Hitchcock film.Yeah, it's still <more>
dated quite a bit, and, in future viewings, I might fast-forward through a couple of talky parts with Kelly or Thelma Ritter. I would prefer to stick with the focus of the story, namely Stewart's voyeurism and suspicions of what is going on in Raymond Burr's apartment. That storyline is entertaining and builds tremendous suspense. Stewart is usually fun to listen to, anyway. Kelly is there for looks.Speaking of dated, can you imagine all the people in the apartments keeping their blinds open all the time, and Stewart keeping his door unlocked all the time as well, and people entering without bothering to knock first? True, it was more trusting and safer world back then, but it couldn't have been THAT transparent and trusting. Give me a break! Yet, credibility aside, it's so involving and fun to watch that who cares if doesn't make a lot of sense?
Spoilers herein.I just don't like Hitchcock. I admit that he `delivered value' in his day, but as I review his films today, I find them trite, badly dated. The style of acting he used now looks `actorly.' His camera framing is well considered but unimaginative by today's standards. The stories are not engaging to me .But this film really is a classic. Not because of the acting or the dialog, but because it was so cleverly conceived. And because the execution is so purely cinematic.The first problem a writer/director faces is what stance the camera takes. Is it a fairly static <more>
`audience' as if you were watching a play? Is it godlike in always seeing things from the best perspective, though sometimes humanly impossible? Is it a character? Or does it follow a character sometime showing their point of view, sometimes their reaction? Does it act?Do we admit the camera exists -- by introducing jiggle, or showing operator's functions like focusing, developing? Do we dissolve the camera's perspective by juggling time or perspectives? Do we try a `100 simultaneous cameras' approach?Hitchcock usually uses the static theatrical approach -- way too much for modern tastes. He punctuates this by sometimes doing a character focused shot, and sometimes a spectacular-for-the-time godshot -- as in the `Psycho' shower scene.But this film is more purely conceived for the camera. There are no godshots. Nearly all the camerawork is from Jeff's eye, or of Jeff's apartment, with a few notable exceptions. What is novel is why this works -- the set and entire story were composed backwards. That is, instead of having some slice of life that the camera discovers, this reality exists as if it were created by the camera before the action starts. Everything that is required to motivate the world is comprehensible from that apartment -- the entire physics of this world is based on its center.In other words, Hitchcock's achievement here is not how he accommodates the camera to the world, but the world to the camera.Pure genius.