Film Review of Rear Window: To Catch a Murderer with the Help of Anonymous Notes, Binoculars, and Flashbulbs
What can a photographer do to while away recuperating from a broken leg? Does he have any reservations about snooping on neighbors who leave their blinds up and their curtains pulled way back? The answer is firmly negative – despite the protests of a beautiful girlfriend and a blunt nurse – in the movie “Rear Window”.
Rear Window is a suspense film tailor-made for audiences adamant about adventure, happiness, and humor.
Privacy becomes a concern with potential intrusive technology. For example, binoculars help with vision and cameras with reminiscences. Is it also acceptable to use them for spying?
An answer is given in Rear Window, written by John Michael Hayes; and produced and directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The cinematographer was Robert Burks. The editing and music were respectively by George Tomasini and Franz Waxman.
The film is based upon “It Had to Be Murder” by Cornell Woolrich (1903-1968). It runs for 110+ minutes. Its distributor was Paramount Pictures although Universal Pictures handles current releases. It was released on August 1, 1954.
The movie begins with L.B. Jeffries (played by James Stewart) spying upon his neighbors. Jeff does not know how else to survive his broken left leg. He professionally photographs life’s significant moments.
Jeff’s interest centers upon singles, such as “Miss Lonely Hearts” (played by Judith Evelyn). But it also focuses upon two couples: Newlyweds (played by Rand Harper and Havis Davenport) and the Thorwalds (played by Raymond Burr and Irene Winston).
Jeff becomes intrigued by wholesale jewelry salesman Lars’ fight with invalid wife Anna. Curiosity increases when Lars goes back and forth with sample case in hand. It intensifies when Lars cleans the bathroom and has a heavily rope-tied packing crate removed from the bedroom.
Girlfriend Lisa Fremont (played by Grace Kelly) and nurse Stella (played by Thelma Ritter) are unsupportive. But they end up suspecting Lars of killing his wife and a neighbor’s dog. Lisa finds Anna’s wedding ring. Returning home unexpectedly, Lars almost harms Lisa until Jeff calls the police.
Lars deduces that Jeff sent Lisa and the message “What have you done with her?” He gets into Jeff’s apartment. He temporarily is blinded by Jeff setting off flashbulbs. He finally pushes Jeff out the window before being arrested by Detective Lieutenant Thomas Doyle (played by Wendell Corey).
Lisa attends to Jeff, wheelchair-bound with two broken legs. Miss Lonely Hearts emerges from mourning thanks to a songwriter (played by Ross Bagdasarian). All ends happily, except for the disenchanted newlyweds and the Thorwalds.
Rear Window is a suspense film acclaimed by critics and viewers. It received four Academy Award nominations: Best Color Cinematography, Director, Screenplay, and Sound Recording. Each Oscar went elsewhere although Grace Kelly (1929-1982) received Best Actress for “The Country Girl” and Thelma Ritter (1902-1969) co-hosted the 27th Academy Awards with Bob Hope (1903-2003).
Copyright: Saturday, June 16, 2012 by Derdriu