Movie Review: Rear Window [1954]

Have you ever spied upon your neighbors? 

Rear Window is Alfred Hitchcock's movie about a habit which is very common for people, mostly in the years of childhood. I, personally, always had that obsession of watching my neighbors, because it always felt visionary.

Main character Jeff (James Stewart) is a photographer sitting in a wheelchair with broken leg, bored without job and trying to make his mind busy. And yeah, it's 90 Fahrenheit outside. But wait, everything is not that bad, as it is described: he's got a great view on the windows of neighbors and a love of beautiful lady Lisa (Grace Kelly). Jeff tries to entertain himself by shadowing on families living their lives in front of his windows. He sees many different stories of different people but only one of them grabs his attention - a sudden disappearance of sick lady. He tries to convince himself that her husband - a middle aged salesman killed wife and carried her body away the apartment at night. Eventually, he involves Lisa and nurse Stella in investigations and they together solve the puzzle. 

Before I talk about a story, let me applause  Alfred for some really gorgeous shots: first - a lighting cigarette in the darkness, second - Jeff defending himself from killer with flesh of camera and wide shots of view from photographer's window. These were highlights of the film. It is spectacular and amazing how almost two hour movie was filmed from the same angle and place - Stewart's bedroom - and almost every time you get new, refreshing image of outside world. These scenes are so realistic that you feel sitting in Jeff's chair and keeping your eyes on ongoing story.

If I discuss this movie part by part, piece by piece, almost everything was splendid: acting, directing, creative features and it kind of sounds like a brilliant picture. But let me tell you something - it's not. The story lacks something (or maybe I missed that something) which is tension. Everything went very steadily. Movie itself is more about talks than actions, it did not give me a chill. If it is a mystery, let it be a mystery.

However, here comes the most important question:

Have you ever spied upon you neighbors? Ever?!


7/10

2 comments:

  1. You raise some interesting points, for me the tension only really began when Lisa entered his apartment. This is a long way into the movie, but from there Hitchcock, in his typical style, ratcheted it up all the way to the ending, with Stewart isolated in his apartment with the killer en route.

    And yes, I have spied on my neighbours! There is something about people having lights on without curtains drawn that demands it!!

    Check out my review: http://inmynorthernopinion.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/film-rear-window-910.html

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  2. For me, last part of the movie was more tense than first. If you'd ask me, Lisa's and Jeff's relation is another story to tell.

    I loved to spy on my neighbors too. They always looked like opened books that you need to read :))

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