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Rear Window

Classics, Drama, and Mystery & Suspense movie directed by Alfred Hitchcock

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It just might be the finest acting performance ever in a motion picture!

  • Dec 18, 2008
  • by
Rating:
+5
In my mind Jimmy Stewart's incredible performance in Alfred Hitchcock's 1954 suspense classic "Rear Window" has to rank as the finest single performance in the history of film.  Stewart plays roving news photographer L.B. Jeffries who has the great misfortune of having to recouperate from a broken leg in the stifling summer heat in his tiny mid-town apartment.  He is confined to his wheelchair and passes the time gazing out his window and observing the comings and goings of his neighbors in the apartment building across the way.  At one point he notices that something very strange seems to be going on in one of those apartments.  He has every reason to believe that a man has chosen to eliminate his nagging wife.  He tries to convince his rather skeptical girlfriend Lisa Fremont (played by Grace Kelly), his housekeeper Stella (Thelma Rittter) and a detective buddy Thomas Doyle (Wendell Corey) but no one will believe him.  From what he has been able to observe over a period of several days it would appear that Lars Thorwald (Raymond Burr) has savagely murdered his wife and carried her out piece by piece in his sample case.  

Despite the presence of the stunning Grace Kelly the camera is focused on Jimmy Stewart for probably 75% of this film.   By being on camera so much we are able to carefully study Stewart's body language and all of his gestures and facial expressions.  I cannot recall any other movie like it.  And as usual Jimmy Stewart pulls it off with great aplomb.  The story itself is quite compelling and comes to life under the masterful direction of Alfred Hitchcock.  In addition, the set used for "Rear Window" is one of the most fascinating you will ever see.  This is one movie that is top drawer in every way and it just might be my favorite Hitchcock flick.     Very highly recommended!
rear Window It just might be the finest acting performance ever in a motion picture! It just might be the finest acting performance ever in a motion picture! It just might be the finest acting performance ever in a motion picture!

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August 24, 2010
I agree, one of the great Hitchcock movies. Jimmy Stewart does a great job in a genre that you don't see him in very often. Grace Kelly, what can I say, very easy on the eyes and a wonderful actress. I loved this suspense movie. By the way, I collect cameras and I love the fact that I own the same model camera as the one he used in the movie, a great German made camera, Exakta, with a Zeiss telephoto lens.
 
October 29, 2009
I love Rear Window, and Hitchcock. I totally agree with this review.
 
December 18, 2008
I really love this film, although personally I'm more partial to Stewart's performance in Vertigo. He was a lot darker in that movie, which I don't always see from an actor like Stewart.
 
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More Rear Window reviews
review by . August 17, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
**** out of ****    **** out of ****    I don't recall ever coming across a house without windows. The window in itself is a powerful invention; often found in households around the world because people like a room with a view. For instance, from my bedroom window I can see not only my backyard, but also that of the people who live just one neighborhood up from ours. It's interesting, because these people could be working in their garden, and I could be watching; …
Quick Tip by . August 24, 2010
Alfred Hitchcock's 1954 film "Rear Window", is one of the great est of Hitchcock movies. Jimmy Stewart does a great job in a genre that you don't see him in very often. Grace Kelly, what can I say, very easy on the eyes and a wonderful actress. I loved this suspense movie. By the way, I collect cameras and I love the fact that I own the same model camera as the one he used in the movie, a great German made camera, Exakta, with a Zeiss telephoto lens.
Quick Tip by . August 24, 2010
I always found it quite ironic that a man in a wheel chair would foil the plans of the man that would later go on to become famous for playing Ironside, a man in a wheel chair.
review by . October 20, 2001
posted in Movie Hype
The ultimate Hitchcock classic, REAR WINDOW gives us a glimpse into the mind of Alfred Hitchcock, and in turn Hitchcock turns the mirror on us and forces us to admit our darkest desire...to be voyeurs.That is exactly what Jeffries is. Jeffries (James Stewart) is a wheelchair-bound photographer who spends his time cooped up in his apartment, peeping in on the neighbours across the courtyard. He comes up with "names" for them; Miss Torso the ballerina; Miss Lonely-Hearts; The Newly-Weds and so on. …
review by . October 24, 2000
Pros: Great concept and good script; Grace Kelly; excellent character development     Cons: leaves you hanging at the end; the dog bites the dust (which upset me more than anything else in the film.)     Many people rant and rave about Rear Window, declaring it Hitchcok's masterpiece. Yes, the film defines Hitchcock's style better than any film I've seen thus far in my Hitchcock class. HOWEVER, I was not as impressed with Rear Window as I was with some of …
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Paul Tognetti ()
Ranked #6
I guess I would qualify as a frustrated writer. My work requires very little writing and so since 1999 I have been writing reviews on non-fiction books and anthology CD's on amazon.com. I never could … more
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Like the Greenwich Village courtyard view from its titular portal, Alfred Hitchcock's classicRear Windowis both confined and multileveled: both its story and visual perspective are dictated by its protagonist's imprisonment in his apartment, convalescing in a wheelchair, from which both he and the audience observe the lives of his neighbors. Cheerful voyeurism, as well as the behavior glimpsed among the various tenants, affords a droll comic atmosphere that gradually darkens when he sees clues to what may be a murder.

Photographer L.B. "Jeff" Jeffries (James Stewart) is, in fact, a voyeur by trade, a professional photographer sidelined by an accident while on assignment. His immersion in the human drama (and comedy) visible from his window is a by-product of boredom, underlined by the disapproval of his girlfriend, Lisa (Grace Kelly), and a wisecracking visiting nurse (Thelma Ritter). Yet when the invalid wife of Lars Thorwald (Raymond Burr) disappears, Jeff enlists the two women to help him to determine whether she's really left town, as Thorwald insists, or been murdered.

Hitchcock scholar Donald Spoto convincingly argues that the crime at the center of this mystery is the MacGuffin--a mere pretext--in a film that's more interested in the implications of Jeff's sentinel perspective. We actually learn more about the lives of the other neighbors (given generic names by Jeff, even as he's drawn into their lives) he, and we, watch ...

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