02 October 2014

Rear Window (1954)
112 min.
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
With James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Thelma Ritter, Wendell Corey, Raymond Burr, Judith Evelyn, Ross Bagdasarian.
If there were one Hitchcock film that's most representative of the director's work, Rear Window would be it.

Having broken his leg, professional photographer L.B. Jeffries (Stewart) is confined to a wheelchair in his Greenwich Village apartment.

He spends his time watching his assortment of neighbors across the open courtyard. Most of what Jeffries views is banal, seemingly innocuous stuff.

Except for one....soon he comes to believe that a man in one of the adjacent apartments might have murdered his wife!

Questions arise. How did the seemingly mild-mannered neighbor kill her? And where has he hidden her lifeless corpse?

With the help of girlfriend Lisa (Kelly, who's never been more beautiful than here) and his nurse Stella (the hilarious character actress Ritter), Jeffries as the likable voyeur soon finds himself in over his head.

Can Jeffries trust what he witnesses through the zoom lens of his camera? Can we trust what we're seeing through Jeffries' eyes?

Despite the fact that all the action takes place in one set, boredom is simply never an option.

The director's trademark black humor, and his way of bringing out the best in his actors, make this a must-see, while the jazzy, urbane score by Franz Waxman fits perfectly.

Filmmaking has rarely been purer (or better) than this.

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