Write descriptive essay about Rear Window movie 1954, write an essay of at least 500 words on Rear Window, 5 paragraph essay on Rear Window, definition essay, descriptive essay, dichotomy essay.
Rear Window
Year:
1954
Country:
USA
Genre:
Crime, Thriller, Mystery, Romance
IMDB rating:
8.7
Director:
Alfred Hitchcock
James Stewart as L. B. 'Jeff' Jefferies
Grace Kelly as Lisa Carol Fremont
Wendell Corey as Det. Lt. Thomas J. Doyle
Thelma Ritter as Stella
Raymond Burr as Lars Thorwald
Judith Evelyn as Miss Lonelyhearts
Ross Bagdasarian as Songwriter
Georgine Darcy as Miss Torso
Sara Berner as Wife living above Thorwalds
Frank Cady as Husband living above Thorwalds
Jesslyn Fax as Sculpting neighbor with hearing aid
Rand Harper as Newlywed man
Irene Winston as Mrs. Anna Thorwald
Havis Davenport as Newlywed woman
Storyline: Professional photographer L.B. "Jeff" Jeffries breaks his leg while getting an action shot at an auto race. Confined to his New York apartment, he spends his time looking out of the rear window observing the neighbors. He begins to suspect that a man across the courtyard may have murdered his wife. Jeff enlists the help of his high society fashion-consultant girlfriend Lisa Freemont and his visiting nurse Stella to investigate.
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Reviews
Considered one of Hitchcok's best, comes across a bit dated in the 21st century.
Generally considered one of the best of all time, "Rear Window" is a very simple story filmed in the Hitchcock manner to provide suspense. I rate it "8" of 10. Jeff (Jimmy Stewart) is a world-traveling photographer confined for several weeks to his Greenwich Village apartment by a broken leg and cast up to the hip. He soon spends all his waking hours watching his apartment neighbors across the courtyard through his rear window, using binoculars and the telephoto lens and camera. Eye-candy is provided by 25-year-old Grace Kelly, in the same year she made "Dial M for Murder", and only a few years before she became Grace of Monaco. (Current starlet Julie Bowen of TV series "Ed" looks amazingly like Grace Kelly).

As Jeff watched neighbors, he becomes suspicious of one (Raymond Burr), a salesman with a wheelchair-bound wife who disappears suddenly on a rainy night. Clues he pieces together from his voyerism convinces him that she was murdered. The police help only reluctantly, and Kelly actually goes into Burr's apartment at one point, is caught, is threatened, until police show up. Burr in the final scene tries to throw Stewart out the window, is nabbed, Stewart falls, and the very final scene shows him in casts on both legs!

To accurately rate a film you have to compare it not only to what came out during the same era, but also everything since. With that criteria, I don't believe "Rear Window" is one of the best of all time. Still, a pretty good flick.

2002-01-02
Excellent Cinematography
Throughout the film, the director gives excellent shots to portray the characters emotions through visual means rather than speaking it aloud. As well as this you get a glimpse into several people whose homes are arranged behind his. Actor James Stewart gives a compelling performance as well. Showing both emotion and feeling through his being stuck in a cast and missing out on his normal adventurous lifestyle.

While some scenes lack in interest and absurdly long focus on the dancer whose main character choice is bending over, this does show how his inability to live how he enjoys puts him in a state of boredom and often lust for the outdoors, and of course companionship.

That paired with a script that is fit perfectly to the theme I'd say this film is worth the watch for any movie lover. I give Rear Window a nine out of ten rating.
2016-10-03
Overrated Suspense Flick
Rear Window is certainly well shot and the suspense is there. However, the mystery isn't. It's very predictable. That's fine, but unfortunately Stewart isn't a very convincing actor. Coming off of "Vertigo", I was thankful he was portraying a photographer (Jeff). Well, this is supposed to be a "tough" photographer who wears boots, treks through jungles and eats grizzly tribal foods in foreign lands. He doesn't look or act "tough" in any way.

There was a scene near the beginning of the film where Jeff was supposed to doze off, not being able to stay awake and watch out his window any longer. It looked more like he was having a stroke than falling asleep. If a Hollywood actor can't convincingly fall asleep, that's a problem.

The film is filled with just downright unrealistic events.

To go through some of the more extreme examples: At the end of the film after Jeff falls from the window, the policeman pokes his head out to report a full confession with multiple details. This was 10 seconds after they pulled the killer off of Jeff. All that in 10 seconds? I don't think so.

Prior to that, Jeff was hanging only by his fingers/hands on the ledge. He has a big, strong looking man pushing on him but somehow his fingers have superman strength (yes, that is a 1998 Rear Window remake jab at Christopher Reeve). Of course, it's only when the police stop the killer that he falls.

The scene prior to this with his camera flashes was the dumbest killer/victim scene I've ever seen. Basically, the killer is standing at one end of the room and Jeff in his wheelchair at the other. He puts a bulb in his flash and sets it off, temporarily blinding the killer. The camera focuses close in on him rubbing his eyes, stopping him in his tracks then recovering. He takes one more step, and this whole process repeats about 4 or 5 times until he finally reaches him. Of course, it's at this point that the police coincidentally show up and he's able to scream for help. It's comical.

Earlier in the film, Jeff's girlfriend is being strangled/attacked. He and his nurse just watch. He squirms like a pansy and says "Oh gee, what do we do?" Oh gee, golly whiz, what do you do? Well for one, if someone's life is in serious danger, you don't do nothing. You could scream. Yes, screaming out and saying "HEY A**HOLE, I CALLED THE POLICE! WE SEE YOU ATTACKING HER!" would actually be a rational thing to do. But, the police magically show up literally 15 seconds after he calls them and save the day.

The problem is all of these unrealistic scenes were unnecessary. They could have easily been replaced with realistic alternatives. Great movies don't require the viewer to throw rationality out the window (no pun intended). For that reason, I feel the film is quite overrated. I also think the Freud analysis of the movie some people have like "it's a take on society's obsession with voyeurism" is complete nonsense. No, it's actually not. It's actually a crime-suspense film about a nosy, bored neighbor stumbling upon a murder - not a message to viewers about society's inner perversions.
2016-02-20
Voyeurism, Suspicion & Murder
There can't have been many filmmakers who would have been excited by the prospect of making a movie about an immobile man who spends 99% of his story inside a single room where he's unable to see any further than the boundaries of his own small apartment complex. In the hands of Alfred Hitchcock however, the character's confinement is skilfully used to rationalise his unhealthy preoccupation with spying on his neighbours and to generate the kind of tension that's such an important component of this gripping murder mystery. Suspicion, voyeurism and obsession feature strongly and the presence of a cool blonde, a romantic subplot and some offbeat humour all add to the entertainment value of this fine movie which eventually became recognised as an all-time classic.

L.B. "Jeff" Jeffries (James Stewart) is a top-class photojournalist who's been used to travelling extensively to get the great photographs that adorn the pages of his employer's magazine. When he suffers a broken leg as a result of an accident at a motor-racing track and becomes confined to a wheelchair in his modest Greenwich Village apartment, he soon becomes frustrated and very irritable. To relieve his boredom, he starts to gaze out of his window and watch what's going on in the other apartments that face his. Because New York is in the middle of a heatwave, his neighbours have their blinds up to keep cool and so there's plenty to watch. An attractive ballerina who he calls Miss Torso (Georgine Darcy) rehearses regularly and enjoys the attention of a collection of male admirers, whilst in another apartment close-by; a single lady, who Jeff calls Miss Lonely Hearts (Judith Evelyn) prepares a meal and entertains an imaginary boyfriend.

Stella (Thelma Ritter), the insurance company nurse who calls by to attend to him everyday doesn't approve of Jeff's pastime and advises that he should pay more attention to his girlfriend Lisa (Grace Kelly) instead. Lisa's a fashion model and dress designer who's rich, beautiful and as Jeff readily admits, perfect in every way, but he's rather cool with her because he has doubts about their compatibility as they have such different lifestyles.

Jeff starts to take a particular interest in what's going on in the apartment of a jewellery salesman and when he notices that the man's invalid wife has disappeared, becomes convinced that she must've been murdered. Lisa and Stella are sceptical about his suspicions and even his old Army buddy Tom Doyle (Wendell Corey) who's now a NYPD detective, admits to sharing their scepticism after making his own unofficial investigations. As time passes, Lisa and Stella start to take his suspicions more seriously and eventually team up with him to try to find the evidence they need to prove that the missing woman has indeed been murdered.

In common with most Hitchcock movies, "Rear Window" boasts some great visual moments. Grace Kelly's introduction in a scene where she's initially seen leaning over Jeff is sensational and a short sequence in which the roaming camera focuses on a number of objects and photos in Jeff's apartment is exquisite in the way that it silently imparts so much information about him in such a short time. Hitchcock's skill in making, even the most mundane things seem sinister, is wonderfully displayed in a scene where the suspected murderer sits in his apartment in the dark with only the periodic glow of his cigarette providing a clue to his presence and again in a scene where the same man realises who's watching him. The gaze he directs back at Jeff is absolutely chilling because it suddenly turns the tables on the voyeur and carries the implicit threat that he could be the next invalid to be murdered.

The theme of confinement is also reinforced visually by the ways in which the lives of the neighbours seem to be framed by their windows, just as Jeff's outlook is framed by his own window and the apartment complex is itself, a closed-in entity.

The quality of the acting is consistently good with James Stewart, Grace Kelly and Thelma Ritter all standing out and the dialogue is exceptional because, although it's far from punchy, there doesn't seem to be a superfluous word in it. Thelma Ritter is the beneficiary of more good lines than anyone else because her marvellous character, whose nose for trouble is so well-developed that she predicted the Wall Street Crash, is full of no-nonsense advice that she dispenses very generously.
2016-08-11
Looking at Urban Life ... through binoculars and voyeurism
Some of Alfred Hitchcock's films date badly, or are flawed by script points he chose to ignore as "Maguffins", or just are not his cup of tea. But REAR WINDOW is one great movie - a film that just never stops fascinating it's audiences as much as the world of that Greenwich Village enclave fascinates L.B. "Jeff" Jeffries (James Stewart).

Hitchcock built a meticulous set of apartment flats with a common courtyard. Although extensive it is, in fact, claustrophobic, with the seemingly separate lives of the residents running into each other more frequently than one expects (witness Raymond Burr's growling at a neighbor as he is working on his garden patch and she tries to give him some advice). The fact that it is supposed to be in the middle of a heat wave (this is in the pre-air-conditioned apartment days) adds to the feelings of closing in - even if the audience actually feels no heat from the set. At least five separate stories are going on that we are invited into during the course of the film, besides the main one of the fate of Mrs. Anna Thorwald (Irene Winston).

Jeff has been a widely respected and awarded photographer around the world, and he is nursing a broken leg (from his photographing a careening racing car). His only contacts with the outside world are his nurse Stella (Thelma Ritter) and his girlfriend Lisa Carol Fremont (Grace Kelly) who is a supermodel of the period (c. 1954). Stuck with nothing to do Jeff starts looking out his window at his neighbors. They include a ballet dancer, a newlywed couple, a struggling pianist composer, a lonely woman seeking companionship, a couple with a dog, and a sculptor. Also there is Mr. Lars Thorwald (Raymond Burr), a salesman, and his wife Anna.

Voyeurism is intoxicating, because (as long as you are unobserved) you can imagine what is actually going on - illustrated by the newlyweds pulling down the blinds of their window, and Steward struggling for words to explain to Kelly about what the couple behind the blinds are doing. But it becomes a matter that we are increasingly urgent as Jeff is aware of what is going on in the lives of those people. In particular the Thorwalds, who are always arguing.

One night he hears a woman scream, and wonders who it could be. Then he notices Thorwald acting very methodically (and atypically) in leaving his apartment with his salesman bag at late hours of the night. He slowly concentrates on Thorwald and his movements in his apartment - and the fact that the hitherto bedridden wife is missing. Both Stella and Lisa dismiss this, until they both are unconsciously drawn into watching some of Thorwald's activities themselves, and they start realizing there is something a bit odd.

Jeff calls in a war friend of his, Police Detective Thomas Doyle (Wendell Corey) and he to is rather dismissive, but checks into the story. And he finds that everything on the surface seems explicable. But despite occasionally making Stewart and Kelly ashamed of themselves, sooner or later some other business by Thorwald or near his abode reawakens suspicions.

The conclusion is memorable for giving Thorwald an opportunity to confront his main prosecutor and demand an ethics answer that just can't be simply answered.

Hitchcock appears to have used elements of the Crippen murder for the story - based by the way on a short story by the gifted noir writer Cornell Woolrich. The cast is splendid, not only giving a bravura performance to Steward, but giving Kelly a chance to stretch her acting when in danger, and giving Ritter another one of her wise, wizened women roles. Burr had his best recalled moments on film here - if not his best performance (I still favor his avenging D.A. in A PLACE IN THE SUN). Corey too is the voice of reason and common sense - until the last moments of the film when Stewart finally jars him.

One of the finest thrillers ever constructed and filmed by a master director
2007-09-18
No rear window
Many positive things about Rear Window have been said; after seeing Hitchcock's "own favorite movie" for the first time, I would only make some small critical comments. First, I don't understand the title. Because Stewart's appartment doesn't have a "real" front (the front door is situated in a corridor, where are no windows at all), the window he's continuously looking through is by all means a FRONT window. Second, only for Hitchcock's own comfort as a director, Stewart is able to observe his neighbours through his binoculars and his enormous - at least - 300 mm objective the entire day and night, without ever being asked or confronted what the hell this voyeur think he's doing! His neighbours, who live only a couple of feet across, must have noticed this man observing them way before "Thorwald" does, when Kelly is found in his apartment (giving Stewart fingersigns, discovered by Thorwald). Third, and most important, I found the final scenes so disappointing, I couldn't believe this was a Hitchcock-movie. All of Stewart's assumptions and predictions are proven to be right and that's it. No surprises, nothing new is added and, most disturbing, no explanations or motives are given why Thorwald killed his wife. In all, I was tempted to believe this movie was originally written as a musical.
2001-08-08
An original, intruiging work... brilliantly cinematic
Yes, Rear Window is probably the film that has finally made me accept Hitchcock's genius. I loved "Vertigo", appreciated "Psycho", was irritated by "Spellbound", was partial to "Strangers on a Train", was intruiged by "The Wrong Man" and fairly enjoyed "North By Northwest"... "Rear Window" is probably his finest work that I have yet seen... open, as it is, to many, varied interpretations.

While "Vertigo" had a more domineering score, photography and general artifice, "Rear Window" has a greater impact for me. While "Vertigo" was gripping, this one was positively electrifying in that department. The fact that Hitchcock managed such a multi-faceted, intruiging effort with the original conceit he adopted - to make a film from one set, and one single vantage-point - is astounding. I've not heard of the novel it was based on, but this is one hell of a script. All of the characters, and that's partially including the ones viewed by Stewart's L.B. Jeffries, are fully fleshed out and flawed. I found Thelma Ritter's performance amusing, and believable, providing the Bel Geddes (in "Vertigo")-type role early on, and then developing interestingly. Grace Kelly's Lisa is a fascinating character, more than you'd initially suspect. Undeniably beautiful, but also frustrated, passionate, devious and desperate in equal part. While Jeffries, or perhaps his accident (a typically important little detail that Hitchcock uses brilliantly, like Stewart's vertigo in "Vertigo"), starts the whole voyeuristic business, Ritter and to an interesting extent, Kelly collaborate with his fancies. Stewart's role is a great one, that of a deeply flawed, and disturbingly obsessed voyeur. It is sure that, at least with the films he made for Hitchcock, Stewart fulfilled all of his promise as an actor. From the wonderfully casual early scenes, to his gradual obsession with a particular house, his acting is brilliant in conveying the character's less-than-positive traits. It seems absurd at first that he be resistive at all to Kelly, but gradually their relationship is made complex, with perhaps Kelly's motivations in the film's later stages intruiging to consider, if she is or not as "perfect" as Stewart earlier claims. There is twist after twist in characterisation, theme and plot, with the final 15 minutes particularly striking in this regard. The conclusion is brilliantly ironic. Audience expectation and sympathies are toyed with exceptionally by Hitchcock at every turn. The themes are manifold, with voyeurism the guiding one. Themes are linked with character, and are effectively tackled; Wendell Corey's character pretty much emphasising the voyeuristic theme with a pertinent quote that I can't exactly recall.

The direction is superb, as you would expect from Hitchcock (its his fascinating, complex use of narrative, character and theme that eleveates this work above so many of his other films), engendering many different moods, but none untainted by corruption in some way. The photography is impressive, giving the restricting settings a pungeancy. Hitchcock and his photographers always tending, at least with "Vertigo" and "Rear Window", to capture colour in a more vivid, expressive and importantly, atmospheric light than most in the history of colour film. Perhaps pivotal in my view is the brilliant use of music, distant, from the houses Stewart spies on, especially the haunting piano tunes (referred to yearningly by Kelly's character) from one home. This adds contrast and depth to many scenes, both within and without of Stewart's flat.

It seems a waste that there are so few films that try, and succeed, in capturing this film's mood and devices. In many ways, I felt David Lynch's "Blue Velvet" to capture some of its suspenseful brilliance. Terence Young's 1967 film, "Wait Until Dark" was very nearly as tense and exciting, and also well worth checking out if you love "Rear Window". No doubts are there, that "Rear Window" is one of the "classics" more than deserving of its status. Rating:- *****/*****
2001-02-05
Our Obsession with Voyeurism
After viewing 'Rear Window' again, I've come to realize that Alfred Hitchcock was not only a great moviemaker but also a great moviewatcher. In the making of 'Rear Window,' he knew exactly what it is about movies that makes them so captivating. It is the illusion of voyeurism that holds our attention just as it held Hitchcock's. The ability to see without being seen has a spellbinding effect. Why else is it so uncommon to have characters in movies look directly into the camera? It just isn't as fun to watch someone when they know you're there. When we watch movies, we are participating in looking into another world and seeing the images of which we have no right to see and listening to the conversations that we should not hear. 'Rear Window' and Powell's 'Peeping Tom' are some of the best movies that aren't afraid to admit this human trait. We are all voyeurs.

When watching 'Rear Window,' it is better to imagine Alfred Hitchcock sitting in that wheelchair rather than Jimmy Stewart. When the camera is using longshots to watch the neighborhood, it is really Hitchcock watching, not Stewart. Hitchcock's love of voyeurism is at the center of this movie, along with his fascination with crime and his adoration of the Madonna ideal.

In many of Hitchcock's movies, 'Rear Window,' 'Vertigo,' 'Psycho,' 'The Birds,' etc, the blonde actresses are objects. Notice how rarely they get close with the male leads. In 'Vertigo,' Stewart's character falls in love with the image of Madeleine; in 'Psycho,' we see the voyeur in Hitchcock peeking out of Norman Bates at Marion; and in 'Rear Window,' Jeff would rather stare out of his window than to hold the beautiful Lisa by his side. For Hitchcock, these women are ideals that should be admired rather than touched.

However, the story of 'Rear Window' isn't about the image of women, as it is in 'Vertigo.' 'Rear Window' focuses more on seduction of crime, not in committing it but in the act of discovering it. At one point in the story, Jeff's friend convinces him that there was no murder, and Jeff is disappointed, not because someone wasn't dead but because he could no longer indulge into his fantasy that someone was. Think how popular crime shows are on television, and noir films at the movies. People do not want to commit crimes; they want to see other people commit them.

'Rear Window' is one of the most retrospective movies I've ever seen. In a span of two hours, it examines some of the most recurrent themes in film. When we watch 'Rear Window,' it is really us watching someone watch someone else. And all the while, Hitchcock is sitting on the balcony and seeing our reaction. It is an act of voyeurism layered on top of itself, and it allows us to examine our own behavior as we are spellbound in Hitchcock's world. The only thing that I feel is missing in the movie is a scene of Jeff using his binoculars and seeing himself in a mirror. Why did Hitchcock leave it out? Maybe because it would have been too obvious what he was doing. Or maybe he was afraid that the audience would see themselves in the reflection of the lens.
2004-04-08
Maybe in the 1950s?
I'm a big Hitchcock fan and hadn't seen Rear Window since I was a child, so I was surprised when I sat down again recently to watch it and found the movie to be quite bad. Obviously this is one of Hitchcock's most famous movies and is considered a classic, but on re-examination one wonders if aside from the novelty of the concept of the film and it's reputation if it is really a very good movie after all.

I won't go into the details of the plot too much, because it is unlikely you are reading reviews of this famous movie to find out what it is about. And if you are then there are hundreds of other reviews here that already give a rough outline of the plot. The core concept in Rear Window of having a story that plays out from events witnessed while looking in the neighbors' windows in a building across a courtyard or alleyway from one's own apartment is a great concept and that is really the best thing about this film. The sound and music are also quite good, especially impressive is the way we get just snippets of (often ambiguous) sound drifting in from the apartments across the way as we see what is happening inside them.

Anyway, aside from the novel concept and some of the nice technical aspects of the film making, what are the problems with this movie? First of all, there is not really any reason to be suspicious about the murderer. Jimmy Stewart is convinced that the man murdered his wife, but he doesn't have any reason to believe anything like that happened and neither do we the audience. And this is true well over an hour into the movie, so it is just boring. Then in the end his theory turns out to have been magically true... so what? It was still boring, and all that happened was it stopped making sense when the man turned out to have murdered his wife even though there was no evidence or reason for any suspicion whatsoever that he had done so.

One thing that doesn't help the movie is that Jimmy Stewart was extremely poorly cast. He is about ten years too old for the relationship with Grace Kelly to play out the way it should, and he hardly fits the bill of a globe trotting adventure photographer. I love Jimmy Stewart, but this role needed an actor who was younger and less pedestrian in personality.

Well, those two things pretty much ruin the movie. The plot is implausible at best and having an implausible lead actor doesn't make it any better. Perhaps in the 1950s audiences were naive enough to get in on the idea of 'suspicion' about this man who murdered his wife, but when you look at the movie today he is just a man living his life there is no reason to believe he did anything wrong at all and that ruins the suspense of the movie and makes it pretty strange to watch for the first eighty or ninety minutes. The characters don't make any sense, because you can't understand why they are buying into this idea that the guy 'over there' murdered his wife when there is literally no reason whatsoever to have any suspicion (that they know of or that we the audience know of) until the movie is already almost over. Personally, as a viewer, I could not get into a 'suspension of disbelief' for this plot and that made the viewing extremely tedious.

Like I said, I love Hitchcock and had considered this to be a classic movie from what I remembered when I saw it as a child, but it hasn't aged well.
2011-08-19
Huh?
Why is this movie considered so great? The people that praise it are hoity-toity pretentious "film buffs". I thought the acting was great, and the cinematography was excellent, but I was not on the edge of my seat at all during this film. It was not suspenseful, as I could tell what was going to happen, and I never felt worried about any of the characters because I could tell they would be saved in one way or another.
2003-08-01
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