Rear Window

Rear Window

4.8 44
Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Cast: Alfred Hitchcock, James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey

     
 

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Laid up with a broken leg, photojournalist L.B. Jeffries (James Stewart) is confined to his tiny, sweltering courtyard apartment. To pass the time between visits from his nurse (Thelma Ritter) and his fashion model girlfriend Lisa (Grace Kelly), the binocular-wielding Jeffries stares through the rear window of his apartment at the goings-on in the other apartments… See more details below

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Overview

Laid up with a broken leg, photojournalist L.B. Jeffries (James Stewart) is confined to his tiny, sweltering courtyard apartment. To pass the time between visits from his nurse (Thelma Ritter) and his fashion model girlfriend Lisa (Grace Kelly), the binocular-wielding Jeffries stares through the rear window of his apartment at the goings-on in the other apartments around his courtyard. As he watches his neighbors, he assigns them such roles and character names as "Miss Torso" (Georgine Darcy), a professional dancer with a healthy social life or "Miss Lonelyhearts" (Judith Evelyn), a middle-aged woman who entertains nonexistent gentlemen callers. Of particular interest is seemingly mild-mannered travelling salesman Lars Thorwald (Raymond Burr), who is saddled with a nagging, invalid wife. One afternoon, Thorwald pulls down his window shade, and his wife's incessant bray comes to a sudden halt. Out of boredom, Jeffries casually concocts a scenario in which Thorwald has murdered his wife and disposed of the body in gruesome fashion. Trouble is, Jeffries' musings just might happen to be the truth. One of Alfred Hitchcock's very best efforts, Rear Window is a crackling suspense film that also ranks with Michael Powell's Peeping Tom (1960) as one of the movies' most trenchant dissections of voyeurism. As in most Hitchcock films, the protagonist is a seemingly ordinary man who gets himself in trouble for his secret desires.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Kryssa Schemmerling
Among director Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpieces, none is as purely cinematic as Rear Window. Embellishing and enriching a Cornell Woolrich short story about a wheelchair-bound apartment dweller who becomes convinced that one of his neighbors has committed a murder, Hitchcock creates a meditation on voyeurism in which the Peeping Tom hero becomes a stand-in for the audience itself. Jimmy Stewart, in one of his most memorable roles, portrays a photographer with a broken leg who, confined to his apartment, amuses himself by idly spying on his neighbors across the courtyard. Each window he peers into offers a different glimpse of male-female relationships, and each of the characters he observes -- the frisky newlyweds, the love-starved spinster, the middle-aged man locked in a miserable marriage -- become mirrors into his psyche, reflecting the anxiety he feels about his own relationship with an elegant fashion writer (Grace Kelly) who is pressuring him to get married. Kelly never looked more gorgeous than she does here, and the rest of cast is superb -- Thelma Ritter, as Stewart’s sassy nurse, steals every scene she’s in, while Raymond Burr has an affecting melancholy as the would-be murderer who materializes as the manifestation of Stewart’s inner fears. Brilliant in its use of a single set, Rear Window is the pinnacle of Hollywood entertainment, an ostensibly lighthearted thriller that darkens as it moves toward its almost unbearably suspenseful climax. Extras on the Collector’s Edition DVD include a conversation with screenwriter John Michael Hayes and a re-release trailer narrated by Jimmy Stewart. The film-to-disc transfer is also from a terrific print: It truly does justice to one of Hitchcock’s most perfect films.
All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
On the surface a comic thriller about a photographer and the crime he thinks took place across the courtyard, Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window (1954) turns into an interrogation of voyeurism and movie-viewing. Keeping the camera in Jeff's apartment (except for a couple of shots near the climax), Hitchcock limits the audience's view to what Jeff can see and hear from his immobilized perch. He is free to take in the spectacle of the events in the apartments that he sees, but he is powerless to intervene. Why he looks, however, is the larger question; Hitchcock suggests not just that Jeff is channel-surfing among apartments for idle entertainment but also that the urge to peep is a more universal trait than we might care to acknowledge. What Jeff finds, moreover, becomes a fantasy projection of his own fears about his own relationship with Lisa. Jeff becomes a voyeur to escape, but his gaze is literally -- and violently -- turned back on him by the suspected wife-killer in his thriller narrative. Wryly entertaining as well as skillfully executed and thematically complex, the popular Rear Window earned Hitchcock an Oscar nomination for Best Director and inspired such later films as Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation (1974) and Brian De Palma's Sisters (1973). It was remade in 1998 as a TV movie with Christopher Reeve in the James Stewart role.
All Movie Guide
On the surface a comic thriller about a photographer and the crime he thinks took place across the courtyard, Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window (1954) turns into an interrogation of voyeurism and movie-viewing. Keeping the camera in Jeff's apartment (except for a couple of shots near the climax), Hitchcock limits the audience's view to what Jeff can see and hear from his immobilized perch. He is free to take in the spectacle of the events in the apartments that he sees, but he is powerless to intervene. Why he looks, however, is the larger question; Hitchcock suggests not just that Jeff is channel-surfing among apartments for idle entertainment but also that the urge to peep is a more universal trait than we might care to acknowledge. What Jeff finds, moreover, becomes a fantasy projection of his own fears about his own relationship with Lisa. Jeff becomes a voyeur to escape, but his gaze is literally and violently turned back on him by the suspected wife-killer in his thriller narrative. Wryly entertaining as well as skillfully executed and thematically complex, the popular Rear Window earned Hitchcock an Oscar nomination for Best Director and inspired such later films as Francis Ford Coppola's The Conversation (1974) and Brian De Palma's Sisters (1973). It was remade in 1998 as a TV movie with Christopher Reeve in the James Stewart role. Lucia Bozzola

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Product Details

Release Date:
09/04/2012
UPC:
0025192154638
Original Release:
1954
Rating:
R
Source:
Universal Studios
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:55:00
Sales rank:
1,847

Special Features

Rear Window Ethics: An Original Documentary A Conversation with Screenwriter John Michael Hayes Production Photographs

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
James Stewart L.B. Jeffries (Jeff)
Grace Kelly Lisa Carol Fremont
Wendell Corey Thomas J. Doyle, detective
Thelma Ritter Stella, the nurse
Raymond Burr Lars Thorwald
Judith Evelyn Miss Lonely Heart
Georgine Darcy Miss Torso, the dancer
Sara Berner Fire Escape Woman
Frank Cady Fire Escape Man
Rand Harper Honeymooner
Jesslyn Fax Miss Hearing Aid
Irene Winston Mrs. Thorwald
Havis Davenport Newlywed
Ross Bagdasarian Songwriter
James Cornell Man
Jerry Antes Dancer
Iphigenie Castiglioni Bird Woman
Marla English Party Girl (uncredited)
Bess Flowers Woman with Poodle
Fred Graham Stunt Detective (uncredited)
Len Hendry Policeman
Harry Landers Young Man
Alan Lee Landlord
Mike Mahoney Policeman
Eddie Parker Actor
Ralph Smiley Carl the Waiter
Anthony Warde Detective
Bennie Bartlett Miss Torso's Friend
Kathryn Grant Party Girl (uncredited)
Dick Simmons Actor

Technical Credits
Alfred Hitchcock Director,Producer
Robert Burks Cinematographer
Herbert Coleman Asst. Director
Sam Comer Set Decoration/Design
John Cope Sound/Sound Designer
John P. Fulton Special Effects
John Michael Hayes Screenwriter
Edith Head Costumes/Costume Designer
J. McMillan Johnson Art Director
Harry Lindgren Sound/Sound Designer
Ray Moyer Set Decoration/Design
Hal Pereira Art Director
George Tomasini Editor
Franz Waxman Score Composer
Wally Westmore Makeup

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Rear Window
1. Main Titles [1:34]
2. The Plaster Cocoon [6:52]
3. Stella's Advice [7:08]
4. Lisa [5:47]
5. Meet The Neighbors [5:47]
6. Mismatched Lives [4:47]
7. All Through The Night [4:37]
8. The Watcher [6:26]
9. Something's Wrong [10:34]
10. Doyle Investigates [7:11]
11. Eye On Thorwald [11:32]
12. There's No Case [6:20]
13. Rear Window Ethics [6:20]
14. Message To A Murderer [8:04]
15. Lisa's Risk [4:14]
16. Killer In The Dark [7:29]
17. A Few Changes [5:39]
18. Restoration Credits [1:50]

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