Revisiting Hitchcock's "Rear Window"
November 19, 2017 7:45am CST
Last night, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) ran "Rear Window," the 1954 film starring Jimmy Stewart as a wheelchair-bound photographer with a broken leg nicknamed Jeff, who spends his recuperation time during a heat wave observing the neighbors who live in the other apartments across the courtyard. One in particular gets his attention, and Jeff uses binoculars and a high-powered camera lens to spy on the neighbor, Lars, played by Raymond Burr. Meanwhile, Jeff's girlfriend, Lisa, played by Grace Kelly, and his insurance nurse Stella, played by Thelma Ritter, help him solve the case. As he grows more suspicious that Lars killed his wife, Jeff calls his old war pal Tom, a police detective, to fill him in. But Tom is skeptical at first until Lars actually comes to Jeff's apartment to confront him. Turns out that Lars did murder his wife, but I'll leave the details of this tense thriller out in case anyone hasn't seen it and might like to. As in all of Hitchcock's films, he makes a very brief cameo appearance in one scene when he turns to face the camera from one of the other apartments across the way. And all the action takes place within the confines of one man's tiny apartment based on what he observes from his window. While the main plot concerns Jeff's suspicions about Lars, the subplot involves his indecision to marry Lisa, who lives a very different life from his as a high-profile fashion consultant. It's easy to see in this film what made Grace Kelly so popular and famous before she decided to retire from acting to marry the Prince of Monaco. If you've never seen "Rear Window," and like low-key psychological thrillers without lots of special effects, I highly recommend it. It's Hitchcock at his best, and nothing even comes close today. (Public Domain Image)
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• Saco, Maine
@JudyEv So do I...that gentle manner of his. I'd be willing to bet the man never flew off the handle in his life. Another of my favorite films of his is "Anatomy of a Murder," with Lee Remick as a beautiful seductress whose husband kills a man she accuses of raping her. Stewart's typical laid-back persona steals the show here again.