ALFRED HITCHCOCK | USA | 1954 | 112 MIN | PG
Jimmy Stewart plays L.B. “Jeff” Jeffries, a thrill-seeking photographer laid up with a broken leg for the summer in his Greenwich Village apartment. Chafing at his confinement in a sweltering apartment and at the increasing pressure to settle down with his socialite girlfriend Lisa (Grace Kelly), Jeff entertains himself by using his long camera lens to spy on his neighbors. But when he becomes convinced that a neighbor across the courtyard has murdered his wife, Jeff’s voyeuristic passtime becomes an obsession to root out the truth, an obsession that puts both his and Lisa’s lives in mortal peril. Hitchcock brings his trademark mastery of suspense to REAR WINDOW, but what’s maybe most remarkable about the film is the sense of place and point of view it creates. Even though he was filming entirely on one massive indoor set replicating a Greenwich Village courtyard (complete with 32 apartments), Hitch’s camera almost never strays from Jeff’s apartment, restricting the audience’s point of view to only what Jeff could see from out his window. Thanks to the extraordinary craft on display, we’re transported to that apartment. We feel the heat, the sense of isolation, the mystery, and the extraordinary tension, especially in the film’s unforgettable climax.
Cast: James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey, Thelma Ritter
“Hitchcock’s suspense classic is spiffier, sexier and more relevant than ever to a new century of peeping Toms.” –Rolling Stone