Logline: A wheelchair-bound photographer suspects one of his neighbors has murdered and dismembered his wife.
Review: Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window is one of the Master’s indisputable masterpieces and is a love letter to the cinema, in which viewers are continually placed in the role of voyeur.
Hitchcock made four films that are set in a confined space – Lifeboat (1944), Rope (1948), Dial M for Murder (1953), and Rear Window. Rear Window is the best of these four films. It is amazing to see how Hitchcock navigates his camera in the confined space of Jeffries’ apartment. The film is never stagey and the enclosed space only serves to heighten the tension.
James Stewart, in one of his best roles, is fantastic as the photographer L.B. Jeffries. Grace Kelly, one of Hitchcock’s blonde bombshells, is also great and she and Stewart have a remarkable chemistry onscreen. All of the supporting performances are strong particularly Thelma Ritter as Jeffries’ nurse Stella, who provides much of the film’s morbid sense of humor.
Part of the film’s genius is that Hitchcock, forever master manipulator of his audience, shows the private lives of several people that the viewer only sees from across a courtyard. Despite this distance and the false sense of security it provides, these neighboring characters become very sympathetic to Jeffries and by extension, the viewer who become incredibly invested in their “stories.”
Rear Window remains one of the best examples of Hitchcock’s mastery behind the camera and is surely, one of the most suspenseful films of all time.
Great scene: A tense sequence in which Jeffries is helpless as Lisa is caught snooping in Thorwald’s apartment.