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on 12 January 2003
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. It moves deftly from light and breezy to a more concerned tone, graduating to nail biting, grab the arm of your chair, suspense. This is a teriffic and enjoyable film and one of Hitchcock's best. Raymond Burr as the possible murderer creates terror just by a glance across the courtyard at the spying Stewart. Kelly and Ritter give this film it's footing, making the events completely believable.
But it is Jimmy Stewart who hit's this one out of the park to dead center. He gives one of his finest performances here, conveying the irritation of being in a cast and the emotional helplessness when he may not be able to escape the consequences of his own voyeurism because of it. You'll watch this one every time someone comes over once you own it. Enjoy.....
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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. Wendell Corey is very good as the congenial, though jaded, detective.
All in all, this is a terrific film that clearly shows the mastery and deft direction of the legendary Hitchcock. With a well written script and a stellar cast, this is a film that is well worth having in one's personal collection. Bravo!
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Alfred Hitchcock was in near-perfect form when he made "Rear Window," a stylish, minimalistic blend of mystery and dark comedy. This thriller explores "what you shouldn't see" skilfully, with a few funny bits thrown in. And having a cast that includes Grace Kelly and James Stewart doesn't hurt either.

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. All the action takes place in one room, but he keeps it from feeling confining. Instead, the minimalistic set takes away all distractions, and makes the interplay between the characters even brighter. And much of the humor is provided by Ritter -- she's not a comic character, but her homespun wisdom is delivered with tart humor.

Jeff is likable as only James Stewart could make him -- this guy is bored, crabby and in denial about his feelings for Lisa, but he's likable despite that. Kelly does an equally solid job as the "girl who is too good for him," who also proves that in a pinch she can rise beyond her uptown-girl roots. Back when many women were relegated to side roles, Lisa gets to be an equal detective to Stewart.

"Rear Window" gives a view into one of Hitchcock's best films, a taut thriller about how, if you watch other people, you might see something dangerous. A well-deserved classic.
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on 18 September 2005
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.
Lisa shows that, when the chips are down, she's as capable of breaking-and-entering a possible murderer's apartment, scaling a wall to do so, as she is of wearing couture gowns. Rear Window grabs the viewer in the same way Thorwald grabs the photographer's eye. Once the hook is in place, there's no way out of the intricate spiral of suspense, and the film is just as much an incisive study of human nature as it is a thriller.
One of the best attributes of the movie is the huge set, designed by Hal Pereira and built at the Paramount studio. It represents the best of studio artifice, being a unit that includes the rear of Jeff's apartment as well as his view of the garden court and buildings that enclose the court. As lighted and photographed by Robert Burks, this set is as much a character as any of the actors in the film.
But at the heart of the film are the grand performances of Stewart, who captures perfectly Jeff's mixture of fascination and abhorrence at the glimpses of life outside his window, and the beautiful Miss Kelly, who, after receiving star billing in three previous films, showed that she was entitled to it in Rear Window. After all these years, the enormous glamour of these two personalities remains fresh and attractive, and even as contemporary as ever. Mike Leonard September 05.
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on 17 August 2014
Ok I'm not gonna go into the film itself cause other folk have and you must know it anyway right ? But mention the new blu ray release which is not really that special comprising the same extras and a lobby card postcard it is'nt really a necessary purchase if you have the first blu ray release.
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on 22 July 2007
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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on 15 February 2007
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.

The ending sees Jeffries (and by implication all of us) punished for our curiousity. He has his other leg broken. Serves you right for looking!

Its a film that bears and rewards constant viewing simply to watch one of the best Twentieth Century directors at the height of his powers.
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on 6 December 2004
Where can one begin to sing the praises of Rear Window? Is it the two leading performances (James Stewart & Grace Kelly)?, the wonderfully absorbing narrative? or the immensly claustrophobic cinematography?
Answer: all of the above. very rarley there appears a film which manages to encapsulate every ingrediant required to culminate into a top rate suspense thriller. Rear Window is the king of kings in suspense with a little romance and humour thrown in.
Rear Window was the second of four collaberations between Alfred Hitchcock and james Stewart and in my opnion is the best. the gratitude that Stewart shows is reflected in his portrayl of the no nonsense snapper who, despite dominatating the picture, you never tire of the sight of Stewart in his blue PJ's peering out over the courtyard at the array of characters the director treats us with.
The film centres around travelling photographer L.B. Jeffries (Jeff) played by James Stewart, who as a result of an accident, is temporarely confined to a wheel chair with a broken leg and in order to stave off immense boredom, peers nonchallantly into the windows of his Greenwich village neighbours apartments. What he sees to be innocent, slightly eccentric characters ('miss hearing-aid') there is one apartment which holds a suspicious fascination for Jeff and that is of salesman 'Lars Thorwald (played brilliantly by Raymond Burr with a frightening and both pathetic and desperate angle.)
his determination to prove that Thorwald murdered his disabled wife despite objections from his detective friend (Wendell Corey) is intertwined with an array of interesting and spectacularly original characters such as the afore mention Grace Kelly as Jeff's socialite girlfriend 'Lisa Freeemont', whose passion for Jeff is only matched by his apprehension and the doubts about the relationship and it's uncertain future. The insurance nurse with the sharpest tongue in fifties cinema played by Thelma Ritter who seems to share the directors thirst for the macabre.
All this ends in one of the most nail-biting endings Hitchcock has ever created in use of lighting and montage in his piecing together of the scene.
There seems to be numerous sub-texts which appear in the film, (the nieghbours dilemma's seem to outline the possible outcomes of Jeff's relationship with Lisa). However, put aside the ins and outs of Hitchcocks mind because you will only scratch the surface, and instead marvel at the sheer brilliant cinema at which every shot portrays from the 'jazzy' opening credits to the delightful closing offering.
Purchase, watch and enjoy again and again and again.............
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Alfred Hitchcock will forever be my favourite film director and 'Rear Window' is one of his better earlier efforts and only the 4th to be shot in colour; a follow-up to the equally entertaining 'Dial M for Murder' (and once again featuring Grace Kelly), it shares a similar trait of having a limited set but, unlike DMfM, whilst the action is spread over a number of high-rise dwellings the camera remains exclusively sited in the lounge of the central character - this presents a most unusual cinematic presentation which relies on involved camera work to give a dynamic feeling to what we see and hear.

Another relatively new Hitchcock Blu-ray release, the HD presentation starts a little patchily but is ultimately very acceptable - it's not quite in the same league as other classics such as 'Vertigo' or 'North by Northwest', but is still likely to be the best way we will ever be able to see this unusual movie and a massive improvement on my 2003 DVD release, even when upscaled.

I bought this from Amazon in July 16 as part of a '2 for £10' offer when the standard disc price was £6.

If you need enlightenment on the basics of this film, please see the perfectly adequate Amazon synopsis on the 'front' webpage for this item as it manages (unusually !) to cover the essentials without any revealing spoilers.

I've attached a photo of the case back with all the disc info as Amazon omits it.

Whilst the cinematic action is not too groundbreaking in it's details, the plot/setting is unusual and the (necessary) way that Hitchcock films events really helps him to use his masterly directorial techniques to the fullest; the camera work, with multiple changes of 'focus' and sweeping techniques are particularly noteworthy. What the music lacks in prominence (the soundtrack is mono) is replaced by the almost constant stream of dialogue, essential to counter the lack of movement and location changes.

There are also some great acting performances, most notably of course from James Stewart and Grace Kelly (appearing in their 3rd and 2nd Hitchcock films respectively); Kelly especially seems to much more liberated and at ease with herself. Despite the limited setting, Hitchcock naturally still manages to give himself a short 'cameo' !!!

Finally, there is also a strange (to me any way) bright flashing which momentarily appears from the windows of the top-floor/2nd from the right apartment in the opening 'pan' of the set which I always think hints at a plot element gunshot or the like, but ultimately never comes to fruition and that apartment in fact is ignored from then on - very strange !

On Blu-ray there was a concerning 15 minutes or so where I was left feeling that I'd bought another Universal/Paramount 'duffer', since whilst the soundtrack was clear and lively the image was improved but still appeared to be quite grainy/blurred. Thankfully, although the picture never reaches the levels of clarity and sharpness of later film releases on Blu-ray such as 'Vertigo' or 'North by Northwest' (the latter being IMHO the best example of how much better things can be presented) it took me sometime to notice that things improved with time quite significantly, essentially because I became so engrossed in the film itself !

To my surprise, despite an apparent 'remaster', whist the image does get a LOT better there is STILL some print damage to 'suffer' in the form of the occasional white 'speckly' flashing here and there; the soundtrack might now be DTS-HD MA and nice and clear BUT note it is still 2.0 mono.

Notwithstanding those gripes, it's all a massive improvement over my 2003 DVD release, even when upscaled.

The extras are also improved, with a commentary (which did appear on some previous DVD releases) and nearly 2hrs of additional featurettes, to add to the 1hr+ which existed already on the DVD.

[Reminder - I've attached a photo of the case back with all the disc info as Amazon omits it.]

So, for Hitchcock fans there's really nothing more to say - an upgrade should please them and anyone new to this classic 'did he, didn't he?' film.

Even without any offer, any 'normal' price is still a bargain for this excellent Hitchcock classic, abound with his trademark unusual filming techniques and delivered very well in HD.
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on 29 March 2004
Although this is may take a while to get into, it is a brilliant film full of real suspense and important themes from the master of the thriller, Hitchcock. Jimmy Steward is wonderfull as L. B. "Jeff" Jeffries, a successful photojournalist who is bound to a wheel chair in his New York apartment after breaking his leg at the races.
He bides his time looking out of his rear window at the other apartments across the courtyard, watching the comings and goings of his neighbours, while keeping his commitment-craving uptown girlfriend Lisa (the stunningly gorgeous Grace Kelly) at arm's length.
Amongst the apartment dwellers to spy on - including a nubile dancer, a lonely single woman, a composer, an older couple with a lapdog and others - is the furtive Lars Thorwald (Raymond Burr) and his bed-ridden wife. When Mrs. Thorwald mysteriously disappears and Jeff sees the husband acting suspiciously, he soon imagines a murder has unfolded, with himself as the sole witness.
Convincing Lisa, his nurse Stella (Thelma Ritter) and his police detective friend Doyle (Wendell Corey) proves to be difficult, though, until Lisa risks her neck to get evidence of Thorwald's evil deeds.
Rear Window is one of the best examples ever of a filmmaker forcing his audience to experience the movie's events through the hero's eyes. The audience is locked in the apartment with Jeffries, seeing only what he sees and experiencing exactly what he experiences.
Hitchcock delievers a heart-pounding climax,proving him to be one of the best british directors of all time.
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