Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Runtime: 112 minutes
Starring: James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey, Thelma Ritter, Raymond Burr
Description: The wheelchair bound photographer L.B. Jefferies (James Stewart) spies on his neighbours from his apartment window and becomes convinced one of them has committed murder.
Review: Alfred Hitchcock is pushing the boundaries of his own thriller genre with “Rear Window”. He sets you on the wrong foot and in this unique setting he does this in an excellent way.
In the opening scene the blinds are opened in L.B. Jefferies’ apartment, while looking out on a New York courtyard. Because he is bound to a wheelchair, all Jefferies does is watching his neighbors and we see everything through his perspective. Jefferies is a gloomy man and even his beautiful girlfriend Lisa can’t get him out of that shell. The subtle sarcasm that Hitchcock uses to tackle the man-woman relationship in the fifties, hits every mark. And the character of nurse Stella, a cynical, bossy woman, works perfect as a counterweight. The black humor and the thriller elements are seamlessly interwoven.
You wouldn’t expect a movie set in only one location to be exciting, but the tension is added by the powerlessness of the handicapped Jefferies. This limits the field of view. Even to the day, when people are more focused on detail and hardly have any patience, this is a joy to watch. The actual confrontation may look a bit outdated, but doesn’t bother me personally.
“Rear Window” is a must-see for every mystery and thriller fan and is one of Alfred Hitchcock’s pearls.
Rating: 5/ 5