Review: Rear Window
I have never been disapointed by an Alfred Hitchcock film and Rear Window was no exception, although I still have many more of his movies yet to watch. I had seen this movie years ago but remembered little of it except that I enjoyed it.
Rear Window is a movie about a man with a brocken leg that has been couped up in his New York City apartment for six weeks in a wheelchair with nothing to do but watch the neighbors through the window. The movie has several small storylines going on that mesh well with the overall story of a possible witnessed murder. This possible murder was witnessed by the main character, L. B. Jefferies, played by James Stewart. This movie has a small cast and is filmed entirely on a set made to look like a series of New York City apartments in the fifties. This all worked very well in the movie to give the audience a voyeuristic sense of what was going on. As an audience member you get the feeling that you are caught up in the small apartment and get a sense of how easily we all contain voyeurism-like traits of our own. (Maybe this is why reality television is so popular.)
Alfred Hitchcock is a master at expressing a story by film in many ways. The first shot of the movie tells you about all the characters, who they are, what they do, and what their ambitions are without a single word of dialogue. Hitchock uses set design, camera angles, costume, lighting, and more to interweave the several small storylines with the main story to make it all just make perfect sense in the end.
James Stewart was a joy to watch as he normally is. I wouldn't consider him an excellent actor but he plays parts in such a way that make the characters likable and interesting. This is the only movie I have seen with Grace Kelly and as far as I am concerned she didn't add or take away much of anything to the film. I will have to see more of her work before I make much more of a decision how good of an actress she is. Her filmography can be found here.
It's not too often that movies can make me feel a great deal of suspense these days and that is exactly what Rear Window did for me. The movie has a very suspenseful final scene which I found Thoroughly enjoyable. I know now, or rather I have been reminded that when I am looking for a movie with good suspense that any Hitchcock movie will do.
3 and a half stars