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Rear Window [DVD] [1954]


Price: £3.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Rear Window [DVD] [1954] + Vertigo [DVD] + North by Northwest [DVD] [1959]
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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 (124 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005IBB3
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,137 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.


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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 18 Sep 2005
Format: DVD
Made in 1954, Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window has indeed stood the test of time. It's one of the great and grand treasures of film and it is as much of a romance as it is a brilliant exercise in suspense. Considered to be one of the all time greatest films, Rear Window really pulls you in, bringing out all our voyeuristic instincts.
Jimmy Stewart stars as Jeff Jeffreys, a magazine photographer laid up with a broken leg. Irritable and bored, he suffers through recovery stuck in a wheelchair in his Greenwich Village apartment with little to do but complain to his nurse, Stella (Thelma Ritter), avoid discussing marriage with his girlfriend, society belle Lisa Fremont (Grace Kelly), and stare out the window into the apartments of his neighbors.
It is not yet 8 A.M., but the temperature is already in the 90's and across the court, and a couple sleeping on the fire escape stirs. We watch, along with Jeff, while other anonymous heat-exhausted city dwellers come to sluggishly to life.
There's Miss Lonely Hearts (Judith Evelyn) in a downstairs apartment dreaming of romance, and the vivacious and sexy Miss Torso (Georgine Darcy) upstairs shooing men away. The Composer (Ross Bagdasarian) makes beautiful music but lives the life of a frustrated artist, while a hearing-impaired sculptor (Jesslyn Fax) works day and night, and two newlyweds (Rand Harper and Havis Davenport) spend there days entwined in passionate ecstasy.
The suspense comes when Jeff grows suspicious of Lars Thorwald (Raymond Burr), a jewelry salesman, who lives right across the court. Lars has been doing strange things with rope, some carving knives, and a clothes trunk. And what has happened to Lar's wife? As Jeff becomes increasingly suspicious that Lars has committed murder, he gets Lisa to act has his accomplice.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mr. C. Moore on 15 Feb 2007
Format: DVD
Rear Window achieves the accolade of being one of the most complete films ever made. The combination of sizzling on screen chemistry between James Stewart and Grace Kelly, innovative film techniques and ideas 50 years ahead of its time make this the one film, above all, that I would insist that people see.

The chemistry:- James Stewart plays Jeffries, a stick-in-the-mud photographer confined to his room because of a broken leg. Frustrated, and with too much time on his hands, he ruminates about his relationship with his girlfriend (the beautiful and effervescent Grace Kelly) and his committment phobia. As well as spying on his neighbours (more about that later!). He suffers occasional visits from his wisecracking nurse and his girlfriend, but seems to enjoy spying through his zoom lens of his camera most.

The film techniques:- Hitchcock enjoyed putting limitations on his cameramen and in Rear Window the limitation is that the camera never leaves the room. This means that when Jeffries spies on his neighbours, we get his perspective, we become voyeurs with him. It is very difficult for the viewer to distance herself from Jeffries, or the guilt, suspicion and remorse that come from his voyeuristic proclivities.

The ideas:- Hitchcock, wittingly or not, anticipated in Rear Window the advent of reality TV. Each one of the windows Jeffries spies through presents hin, and us, with a life ruthlessly exposed for public perusal. The Newlyweds, Miss Lonelyhearts, all of them in turn are subjected to our analysis. But wait for the kickback. Jeffries witnesses what he believes to be a murder, and through the course of these sad soap operas one character is watching Jeffries watching him.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 7 Sep 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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