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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 12%
Average: 4%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 5.33%

3 reviews, 57 user ratings

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Rear Window (1954)
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by Stephen Groenewegen

5 stars

Since it was made in 1954, Rear Window has become one of Alfred Hitchcock's best loved films. It's wonderful to be able to experience it on the big screen, in a lovingly restored version.

The story is familiar from television. Like most of Hitchcock's famous films, it's based on material from another source; John Michael Hayes wrote the screenplay from a story by Cornell Woolrich. An active photo-journalist (James Stewart) is confined to his apartment with a broken leg. It's oppressively hot, so he spends his time sitting by the window, looking out at - or rather, into - the other apartments across the courtyard. He begins to suspect that one of his "neighbours" may have committed a murder…

Stewart was one of Hitchcock's favourite leading men, and he exudes the perfect mix of relaxed charm and worried frustration. He is ably supported by Grace Kelly and Thelma Ritter as his fashion-model girlfriend and nurse respectively (Edith Head designed a different eye-catching outfit for each of Kelly's scenes). Both help open up the drama and play against the viewer's expectations - Kelly performs with aplomb the physical action that the confined Stewart can't; Ritter gleefully reels off the grisly implications of what she sees (the details of the crime are never revealed or shown, allowing our imaginations to invent the worst without our eyes having to witness the result).

As well as being a gripping suspense thriller, Rear Window offers social comment (about voyeurism and increasing suburban alienation) and character study. Hitchcock's chief achievement is setting the film in one room, most of it filmed from one perspective, without it ever becoming dull or feeling stagey (because he also shows us the environment the room is part of). The apartment buildings and courtyard that we watch are obviously a set, but it's an impressive technical achievement and the designers, constructors and art department (led by J. MacMillan Johnson and Hal Pereira) deserve full credit.

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originally posted: 01/19/01 13:06:33
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User Comments

5/31/18 Suzanne Thelma Ritter and Grace Kelly stole the picture. 4 stars
3/25/18 morris campbell good but not one Hitchcocks best IMHO 4 stars
3/06/14 Justin R. Along with "Psycho", Hitchcock's best movie. 5 stars
3/02/12 stanley welles brilliant use of claustrophobic space 5 stars
10/06/11 David Hollingsworth How a classic thriller should be made 5 stars
6/01/10 User Name An effective suspense film that does not take place in a decrepit hotel, but a NY apartment 5 stars
12/26/09 art THIS AND PSYCHO were HITCH"S MASTERPIECE"S! 5 stars
9/22/08 don My favorite 5 stars
2/13/08 chris who says you cant make a movie in one setting 4 stars
1/28/08 proper amateur film critic Up there with Vertigo and Psycho 5 stars
12/07/07 Pamela White Grace is gorgeous and suspense drama is excellent 5 stars
5/28/07 fools♫gold A combination of everything good about the Thrillers. 5 stars
4/14/07 MP Bartley One of Hitchcock's best. Stewart is excellent, Kelly lushly beautiful. 5 stars
2/11/07 action movie fan not your best hitchcock-fairly interesting though 3 stars
10/11/06 Bubbinski Classic 4 stars
4/01/06 kerry another overrated film from Mr.H which stands for HACK 1 stars
12/16/05 Michael Why Terror and Death? 1 stars
10/05/05 Jesse Taylor One of the greatest films ever made 5 stars
9/02/05 Zack amazing 5 stars
5/18/05 Sarah Mayersohn Terrific, terrific acting and chemistry between James Stewart and Grace Kelly 5 stars
3/02/05 Andrea Hale Another Hitchcock classic 5 stars
10/27/04 liamminifee its shit 1 stars
9/14/04 Ira Fun movie!!!! And young Kelly dating older Jimmy Stewart reassuring for us 50 year olds. 5 stars
5/31/04 Frazier Great suspense thriller. Hitchcock's finest film ever! 5 stars
5/21/04 Sean Scanlan This is a fabulous movie 5 stars
1/13/04 scott SUCKED BALLS 1 stars
12/11/03 john sensational movie -it's as good today as was then - Grace Kelly is wonderful! 5 stars
8/19/03 Hewdam one of Hitchcock's best 5 stars
3/02/03 gromm Great suspense, and it kept the audience guessing through most of the movie. 4 stars
6/25/02 Charles Tatum One of the greatest films of all time 5 stars
3/10/02 The Bomb 69 slow to develop but the ending made it worthwhile 4 stars
3/07/02 Student HAd to watch it. Glad I did. 4 stars
12/05/01 Skip Young I've seen this a few times, but I don't see what all the fuss is. I'm a big Hitch fan too. 3 stars
11/05/01 Andrew Carden Well Done and At Times Extremly Suspenseful, but Very Hard To Connect To In A Way. 4 stars
9/09/01 Stranded on the Island My favorite hitchcock flick! 5 stars
8/29/01 Gary Unarguably fantastic film. Kelly, Ritter and Stewart make brilliant use of great dialogue. 5 stars
8/23/01 brentley awesome movie! grace kelly is absolutely beautiful. 5 stars
8/20/01 Fraggtastic Terrific classic film 5 stars
8/06/01 E-Funk I have it at a tie with Psycho...this movie is just fantastic. Grace Kelly is stunning. 5 stars
5/31/01 Podgous An excellent film, Hitchcock is KING. 5 stars
4/24/01 Monday Morning Great stuff. 5 stars
4/23/01 Skip Young I must have had my hopes too high. A disappointment. 3 stars
2/08/01 Mary Ann One of the best ever. It's a classic. 5 stars
1/18/01 tara AWESOME FILM everyone must see it 5 stars
12/17/00 Tom Grace Kelly is a God! easily the most beautiful woman ever, and what a great film! 5 stars
12/09/00 SarahLicious This movie totally rocked 5 stars
12/06/00 Elvisfan In order, from top to bottom...Lisa...Carol...Fremont 5 stars
12/04/00 Cristopher Revilla a classic! one of the best!!!! 5 stars
11/30/00 Valerie great 5 stars
11/24/00 Mic Definitely one of Hitchcock's best (although I like NNW better!) 5 stars
11/14/00 Perry Mason Suspenseful, Stewart rules, etc. But Hitchcock does voyeurism too often. It gets boring 4 stars
11/08/00 Andrei Raiu It really is a film to see. 5 stars
11/07/00 Blackbird Fantasic Movie! 5 stars
6/21/00 Michael O"Neill Hitchcock at his best!!! 5 stars
4/12/00 Chartsy One of the finest ever made - ah, the human psyche! 5 stars
12/04/99 JJ Hitchcock/Stewart./Kelly A master work of American cinima. 5 stars
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  02-Sep-1954 (NR)


  30-Nov-2000 (M)

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