It has come to my attention recently that I have never done a post on Rear Window. I'm not sure I can answer why that is- but I think it has something to do with that fact that I just assumed I posted up a review once when I was delirious or something- therefore forgetting that I never actually wrote anything in the first place.
So I will proceed in saying that Rear Window is one of the greatest films made by non other than Freddy Hitchcock. It stars James Jimmy Stewart as well as one of the most beautiful women in the world... Princess Grace of Monaco.
Sigh. Let's just take a moment to remember the wonderful Grace Kelly shall we?
OK. So Jimmy Stewart plays L.B. "Jeff" Jefferies a photographer who was injured while taking what were probably some really exciting photos. As a result, Jeff is confined to his home in a wheelchair with his sad broken leg and his camera. So what is a man to do when he has a broken leg? Spy on the neighbors of course! It's a good thing Jeff's apartment consists mostly of windows because he lives around some truly enticing characters. Now let me be clear that I am the number one offender of spying on people- so it was no surprise that I found those spying scenes completely moving. BUT even if you don't like spying on people- Hitchcock does something insanely marvelous here...he forces you to watch- AND become enthralled and invested in the action as much as Jeff does! It's probably one of my favorite parts about this film and not just because I'm super nosy.
Anyways- Jeff soons starts paying close attention to one of his neighbors-- Lars Thorwald a perpetually grumpy sort of man and his bedridden wife. After Jeff starts noticing that Thorwald takes several late night trips, often emerging with a large hand case- and polishing off a knife and handsaw he starts to wonder what has happened to Mrs. Thorwald- and whether or not Thorwald is up to some bad behavior.
Another simply great thing that this movie does which I can actually connect believe it or not to Martyrs- is that it creates a sense of disbelief. We too are experiencing the same strangeness when observing Thorwald's behavior- but what if Jeff is sorely mistaken? What if Mrs. Thorwald really has just gone on a vacation? How can he be so sure? This sort of feeling stays with us right till the end- when Thorwald's final confession to the police is almost like a deserved slap to the face.
Now as for the tension in this movie....holy crap! The scene where Grace Kelly breaks into Thorwald's apartment and we watch her every move from Jeff's point of view is so freaking intense. Every single time I watch that scene and see Thorwald mosey back into his apartment- while the unknowing Grace Kelly still searches in vain for evidence--I scream out loud with anguish.
And then of course the ultimate scene of intensity and excitement!--when Thorwald discovers why Grace Kelly is pointing at the ring on her finger... When he looks right into Jeff's apartment- I seriously lose my cool. Poor Jimmy Stewart is helpless and alone in his wheelchair- trapped with nowhere to go! It may be the most thrilling bit of cinema to ever grace the screen.
So in a nutshell- this is one of the best Hitchcock movies ever- and also just one of the best movies ever period. It's got suspense, it's got comedy and it even has a little risque interaction with Kelly and Stewart that caused many people in 1954 to stare at it with disgust! Can you imagine the sort of hate mail Alfred Hitchcock received when he showed that Grace Kelly brought her nightgown over the Jimmy Stewart's house?!
Oh and also sad dog death in this one folks. Keep a box of tissues close at hand.