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Rear Window [Blu-ray]  [Region Free]
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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...
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 the DVD edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Photographer L.B. "Jeff" Jeffries (Stewart) got run over during a shoot, and is crankily waiting for his cast to come off. While he does so, he spies on his neighbors -- some sleep on balconies, some argue, some weep alone, and some ("Miss Torso") dance in spandex. To make things worse, Jeff is having intimacy problems with his wealthy girlfriend Lisa (Kelly), because he fears settling down.
But then Jeff's window-watching clues him in to something -- sickly Mrs. Thorwald vanishes, and her husband Lars (Raymond Burr) is seen acting suspiciously with a saw, rope and metal case. Jeff becomes convinced that Thorwald has murdered his wife. He manages to convince Lisa and his down-to-earth nurse Stella (Thelma Ritter), but detectives won't believe him. So without moving from the room, Jeff uses the rear window to watch Thorwald -- and find out what really happened.
Okay, peeping on your neighbors is not just creepy, it's illegal. In the case of "Rear Window," that fact doesn't really matter. Watching the fellow tenants is as much fun as the mystery itself, whether it's the newlyweds, the pair that sleep on the balcony, the weepy Ms. Lonelyheart, or the buxom dancer Miss Torso. It makes the story even more chilling when you realize that one -- or maybe more than one -- of these seemingly harmless people is a murderer.
Hitchcock -- who appears as a musician -- kept his deft touch in a movie that could have sunk like a stone.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Total Rubbish. This is a stupid remake of someone who is not disabled in 1954. The original with Christopher Reeve who was left paralysed from neck. He could not move. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Z
If you love Rear Window you must buy this. Very interesting commentry.Published 1 month ago by Jack D Ripper
Simply a marvelous film. I wish I could watch it "for the first time" one more time. I really envy those who can do that. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Dr David Bellamy
Excellent film, even now. Tense and mysterious. Honestly, Hitchcock is a frickin' genius.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer