My Favorite Movies #50 – Rear Window

Rear Window - PosterRear Window

1954

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock

Quick synopsis… As his broken leg heals, wheelchair-bound L.B. Jefferies (James Stewart) becomes absorbed with the parade of life outside his window and soon fixates on a mysterious man whose behavior has Jefferies convinced a murder has taken place. Meanwhile, other windows reveal the daily lives of a dancer, a lonely woman, a composer, a dog and more. Grace Kelly, Thelma Ritter and Wendell Corey co-star in this Alfred Hitchcock-helmed classic.

  • Kids, if you’ve never seen this suspenseful thriller from Alfred Hitchcock, you have done yourself a disservice.
  • In my humble opinion, it’s absolutely the best picture he ever directed.
  • I know… that’s arguable.
  • But I said it was my opinion. Deal with it.
  • James Stewart plays a photographer named Jefferies.
  • He’s been laid up in his apartment with a broken leg for seven weeks. One more week to go before he gets the cast removed.
  • Of course, as a photographer, Jefferies can’t help but become something of a voyeur.
  • He has nothing else to do but watch the neighbors surrounding his apartment…
  • An attractive dancer, a songwriter who throws some swingin’ parties, a lonely lady, a pair of newlyweds, and a traveling salesman who may just be up to no good.
  • Gotta ask, though… Why is Jefferies taking a peek at the attractive dancer across the way?
  • He’s dating Grace Kelly, a woman who’s put up with the fact that he can’t actually take her out for the past seven weeks.
  • Jeff also has a nurse name Stella who comes by each day to take care of his needs while he’s stuck in his wheelchair.
  • Stella wisely observes that Jeff does nothing but watch people from his window.
  • She then observes that’s all people seem to do these days… watch what others are doing rather than going out of their homes to experience life themselves.
  • If only she could see what life would be like 65 years later.
  • Lisa Fremont (Grace Kelly) drops by late in the evening looking like she just stepped off the model’s runway.
  • Sidebar: how freakin’ gorgeous is Grace Kelly?
  • She wants him to marry her. He doesn’t want to be tied down. Doesn’t want to give up his life as a globetrotting photojournalist.
  • He’s an idiot.
  • During a storm, Jeff hears a woman scream, “Don’t!” followed by the sound of glass breaking.
  • Remember that traveling salesman? He’s played by Raymond Burr, who you may know as Perry Mason.
  • He’s got a bed-ridden wife who mysteriously disappears.
  • After watching Mason’s character, Lars Thorwald, come and go from his apartment numerous times late at night during that same storm.
  • As time goes by, Jeff becomes more and more suspicious of Thorwald, suspecting that he killed his wife and did something with her body.
  • He shares these suspicions with Lisa, Stella, and his friend, Tom Doyle, an NYPD detective.
  • For a while, all he observes is circumstantial and can be explained away as paranoia.
  • Until it can’t…
  • I won’t give away all of what happens and ruin the suspense if you’ve never seen it.
  • Even if you have seen it, you should watch it again.
  • It is a fantastic movie.
  • Hitchcock finds a way to put the audience in the cast shoes of Jefferies, ramping up our own feelings of paranoia and suspense as the film progresses.

Come back next week for the last of the Harry Potter movies, but not the last one on this list.

One thought on “My Favorite Movies #50 – Rear Window

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s