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Rear Window [DVD] [1954]


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Product details

  • Actors: James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Georgine Darcy, Wendell Corey, Thelma Ritter
  • Directors: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Format: PAL, Colour, Anamorphic, Mono
  • Language: English, German
  • Subtitles: German, English, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Universal
  • DVD Release Date: 17 Oct. 2005
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (153 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005IBB3
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,858 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

James Stewart and Grace Kelly star in Alfred Hitchcock's classic thriller which explores the role of the voyeur. After breaking his leg during a shoot, photo-journalist L.B. 'Jeff' Jeffries (Stewart) is forced to spend a humid summer recuperating in his Greenwich Village apartment. The wheelchair-bound Jeff whiles away his time observing his neighbours through a telephoto lens, bestowing them with nicknames and growing familiar with their daily routines. However, his society girlfriend Lisa (Kelly) is exasperated and then alarmed when Jeff becomes obsessed with the notion that Lars Thorwald (Raymond Burr), who lives in the apartment opposite, has murdered his wife...

From Amazon.co.uk

Like the Greenwich Village courtyard view from its titular portal, Alfred Hitchcock's classic Rear Window is both confined and multileveled: both its story and visual perspective are dictated by its protagonist's imprisonment in his apartment, convalescing in a wheelchair, from which both he and the audience observe the lives of his neighbors. Cheerful voyeurism, as well as the behavior glimpsed among the various tenants, affords a droll comic atmosphere that gradually darkens when he sees clues to what may be a murder. Photographer L.B. "Jeff" Jeffries (James Stewart) is, in fact, a voyeur by trade, a professional photographer sidelined by an accident while on assignment. His immersion in the human drama (and comedy) visible from his window is a by-product of boredom, underlined by the disapproval of his girlfriend, Lisa (Grace Kelly), and a wisecracking visiting nurse (Thelma Ritter). Yet when the invalid wife of Lars Thorwald (Raymond Burr) disappears, Jeff enlists the two women to help him to determine whether she's really left town, as Thorwald insists, or been murdered.

Hitchcock scholar Donald Spoto convincingly argues that the crime at the center of this mystery is the MacGuffin--a mere pretext--in a film that's more interested in the implications of Jeff's sentinel perspective. We actually learn more about the lives of the other neighbors (given generic names by Jeff, even as he's drawn into their lives) he, and we, watch undetected than we do the putative murderer and his victim. Jeff's evident fear of intimacy and commitment with the elegant, adoring Lisa provides the other vital thread to the script, one woven not only into the couple's own relationship, but reflected and even commented upon through the various neighbours' lives. At minimum, Hitchcock's skill at making us accomplices to Jeff's spying, coupled with an ingenious escalation of suspense as the teasingly vague evidence coalesces into ominous proof, deliver a superb thriller spiked with droll humour, right up to its nail-biting, nightmarish climax. At deeper levels, however, Rear Window plumbs issues of moral responsibility and emotional honesty, while offering further proof (were any needed) of the director's brilliance as a visual storyteller. --Sam Sutherland --This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 12 Jan. 2003
Format: DVD
This is the perfect thriller, driven by the voyeur in all of us. Hitchcock understood that most people are more comfortable looking at the lives of others from a distance. We can become involved and passionate about it even, just as we do with the movies, and yet have great difficulty one on one. This film subtly explores this area of our personalities while giving us one of the most entertaining films of all time.
Would you have trouble commiting to the elegant and sexy Grace Kelly? Jeff (Jimmy Stewart) does, as we get to hear about when he is laid up in a cast because of an accident while he was on an assignment. Jeff (short for Jeffries) is used to seeing the world through the illuminating lens of his camera, he is a professional photographer. Lisa's (Grace Kelley) patience and elegant charm and the always no nonsense practicality of Nurse Thelma Ritter makes for great entertainment as Jeff is bored and begins watching his neighbors across the courtyard.
Jeff becomes involved in their lives like he is watching a daily soap opera, much to the disapproval of Lisa. He takes to heart their loneliness and finds pleasure in their fine moments. But something darker begins to take shape when Jeff begins to piece together what he has seen in one apartment and fears he may be spying on a killer.
His own disbelief and Lisa's early scorn turns into an obsession that becomes evermore dangerous for all of them as Lisa begins to be Jeff's legs and believe him. But the man who may have murdered his wife may believe he has seen to much and the tension escalates to a fever pitch, putting all their lives in danger, as the voyeuristic climate changes to 'one on one.'
This is wonderful entertainment.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lou Knee on 22 July 2007
Format: DVD
The man's masterpiece, no doubt about it. Vertigo may be more beguiling, Shadow of a Doubt, the best screenplay he worked with, N by NW his best straight thriller, but Rear Window does all you want a tense suspense thriller to do - And delivers a piece of film perfection, without having to do very much at all except point a camera at a man pointing a camera, and follow him until the thrilling end. For such a static movie, it can leave you breathless! A little artificial looking perhaps, by today's standard, and the story really is a bit of a contrivance-What a coincidence it is this laid up man happens to be a pro-photographer, and lives almost dead opposite the villain of the piece. Okay, corny, but as the director would see it, these are just vehicles a film must use, to get somewhere, and deliver you where it wants to. He knows how to make you forget about this slight incredibility, once he can really get into the meat of the film. And this is one of his three or four movies he really manages to push it out very big and make it much, much more than a simple murder story, although this never diverts your attention from the essential matter of enjoying a good suspense thriller.
As with all his greatest films, this subliminal stuff gets into your head and sets you thinking, mostly after the movie has finished. It's all the little extraneous details, the glimpses of everyday folk living out their lives our wheelchair bound hero is forced to watch through his window, that brings this great film alive. Some of the images Hitchcock captures are just uniquely brilliant in a very voyeuristic way. There is definitely a subtext going on here, as you'd expect from this director. But on the surface it is just simple, straightforward magnificence!
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 7 Sept. 2003
Format: VHS Tape
This is a superlative film of suspense. It is a tribute to the direction of Alfred Hitchcock that one is never bored watching this film, though it entirely takes place within the confines of a claustrophobic New York Greenwich Village apartment, the windows of the neighbors across the way, and a courtyard that separates the buildings.
Professional photographer L.B. "Jeff" Jeffries (Jimmy Stewart) is recovering from an accident that occurred while on assignment. Encased in a cast covering his left leg and hip, Jeff is pretty much immobilized and temporarily confined to a wheel chair. Despite regular visits by his nurse, Stella (Thelma Ritter), and his beautiful, sophisticated girlfriend, Lisa (Grace Kelly), Jeff is chafing at his confinement. Bored stiff, he does what he does best. He peers at those around him from his window. Jeff finds the lives of his neighbors both immensely interesting and amusing. He watches them through their windows and in the courtyard, enhancing his experience with binoculars and the zoom lens of his camera. Jeff draws inferences and conclusions about them, based upon his own experiences with human behavior.
Jimmy Stewart is terrific as the housebound voyeur, drawing the viewer in with him. One finds oneself peering along with him into the lives of those around him. Grace Kelly is stunningly beautiful as Jeff's girlfriend Lisa, with whom Jeff is finding it difficult to make a commitment. It is interesting that as Jeff gets more intimately engrossed in his neighbors' affairs, his intimacy with Lisa seems to grow, drawing them closer together. Thelma Ritter is funny and sassy as the tough talking, no nonsense nurse. Raymond Burr, looking eerily as he would half a century later, is well cast as the neighbor whose wife got on his nerves.
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