REAR WINDOW

a film by Alfred Hitchcock released through Paramount Pictures in 1954

What a marvel!  Rear Window, the engrossing tale of a wheelchair-bound photographer eagerly contemplating the potential demise of his fellow tenant, while struggling to manifest any affection for his radiant-blond gal pal, has captivated audiences for generations.  Now that its viewing is no longer restricted to fuzzy VHS copies on small TVs the many details-in-miniature emanating from across the courtyarda succession of archetypesare suddenly apparent (such as the beauty of Thorwald's nagging wife).  The immersive application of sounddiegetic music; echoing, haunting voices; distant traffic and soothing rainanticipates the so-called innovations of Walter Murch in American Graffiti and The Conversation by twenty years.

Hitchcock loved the challenge of self-imposed limitations; the deliberate staging and camerawork makes our identification with the hero increasingly tenuous.  This successful manipulation inspired to director to impose on his audience the more extreme devices of Vertigo and Psycho.  This tension between audience and protagonist, this gulf of perception, became a hallmark of his work.

Aided by a delightful comic turn by Thelma Ritter as a working-class sage, this is one of the most entertaining 'serious' movies ever made.

 

★★★★★

Best for ages 12+

 

 

FEATURING

JAMES STEWART, GRACE KELLY, WENDELL COREY, THELMA RITTER, AND RAYMOND BURR

2023 Ian C. Bloom