Before You Watch – Rear Window (1954)

by | Aug 5, 2021 | Podcast, Two Drink Cinema | 0 comments

Rear Window is a 1954 thriller film from the “master of suspense” Alfred Hitchcock and stars James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Thelma Ritter, and Raymond Burr.

The film is considered to be one of Hitchcock’s greatest and most iconic movies that continues to be referenced and parodied in popular culture today. It earned four Academy Award nominations including Hitchcock for Best Director. In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked Rear Window at number 48 on the 100 Greatest Movies of all-time list.

Photographer L.B. “Jeff” Jefferies (Stewart) is recuperating from a broken leg in his apartment in Manhattan. During a heatwave, he passes the time by watching his neighbours through the ‘Rear Window’ of his apartment. His neighbours include a couple with a small dog who enjoys digging in a flower garden and Lars Thorwald (Burr), a traveling salesman with a bedridden wife. Jeff is often visited by his socialite girlfriend Lisa (Kelly) and nurse Stella (Ritter). 

Jeff continues to spy on his neighbours and after seeing some strange and suspicious behaviours, is convinced that one of his neighbours has committed murder.

You’ll see that Hitchcock’s direction not only creates great suspense throughout the course of the film but also allows the audience to see things from the same perspective as Jeff and can only see and hear what Jeff hears. So you’ll get to come along for the ride with James Stewart. 

This, together with the witty dialogue between Jeff and Lisa that is masterfully delivered by Stewart and Kelly and also the expert comedic timing of Ritter’s Stella creates a tense, exciting and enjoyable journey that is one of Hitchcock’s greatest achievements in film-making.

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