The weather is getting hotter, and photographer L.B. Jefferies (Jimmy Stewart) is stuck in his apartment with a broken leg and nothing to do--that is, nothing to do but spy on his neighbors through their open windows across the way in the apartment complex. There's an attractive and scantily clad dancer, a songwriter, a lonely woman, and the Thorwalds (Raymond Burr and Irene Winston), a bickering couple, among others. But when Mrs. Thorwald disappears, Jefferies is sure that something's wrong. Soon, despite the warnings of his girlfriend, Lisa (Grace Kelly), and his motherly nurse, Stella (Thelma Ritter), Jefferies has out his binoculars and telephoto lens and is studying his neighbor "like a bug under glass." However, looking in from the outside might not be as safe as Jefferies assumes. REAR WINDOW is not only a gripping story of murder and suspense, it is a celebrated allegory on the nature of film itself, a story in which the audience watches Jefferies watch the story unfold. The different windows represent the various different stories that are often told on film and also can be seen as representing the coming of television, as Jefferies can watch a multitude of "shows" from the comfort of his own apartment.
Main Cast & Crew:
Alfred Hitchcock - Director
- Format: DVD (Widescreen)
- Run Time: 113
- Color Format: Color
- UPC: 025192154638
- Genre: Suspense
- Rating: PG (MPAA)
- Release Date: March 2001
A photographer recovering from a broken leg enlivens his hours of convalescence by taking up voyeurism. Though it's initially Miss Torso, an attractive dancer, who gets his attention, he quickly becomes more fascinated by the Thorwalds, a bickering couple across the yard. When he thinks a murder has taken place, the suspense begins. REAR WINDOW is a true Hitchcock masterpiece.
Theatrical release: New York, August 1953. Hitchcock cameo: Hitchcock can be seen winding a clock in the apartment of the songwriter about 30 minutes into the film. REAR WINDOW was added to the Library of Congress National Film Registry in 1997. Hitchcock was nominated for the Best Director Oscar but lost out to Elia Kazan for ON THE WATERFRONT REAR WINDOW is number 42 on the American Film Institute's list of America's 100 Greatest Movies. Snippets of other music heard in the film include Leonard Bernstein's score for the ballet FANCY FREE and the song "Mona Lisa." The film was remade in 1998 as a TV movie starring wheelchair-bound Christopher Reeve.
"...Everything from the masterly opening sequence to the ambiguous final shot indicates that this is the work of a prodigiously talented director..." -- 5 out of 5 stars - 03/01/2000 Total Film, p.76
"...[New print details] give the movie a sharpness that underscores the whole subtext..." -- Rating: A - 01/21/2000 Entertainment Weekly, p.80
"...Kelly is cool and elegant here....REAR WINDOW lovingly invests in suspense all through the film, banking it in our memory, so that when the final payoff arrives, the whole film has been the thriller equivalent of foreplay..." - 02/20/2000 Chicago Sun-Times, p.5
"With its voyeuristic theme, witty screenplay and romantic star chemistry, the ever-popular James Stewart-Grace Kelly masterpiece may be the most prototypical Alfred Hitchcock movie..." - 03/16/2001 USA Today, p.4E
"Hitchcock was a master of this space, his shots coordinated to the inch....Where VERTIGO sported it deviancy on the surface, the even better REAR WINDOW possesses a more wicked intent: we're all in this horrid game together." - 07/01/2008 Empire, p.177
"Hitchcock and Stewart reteamed for another homebound story -- and the result was one of the greatest films ever, regardless of genre." - 05/18/2020 Chicago Sun-Times