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
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
I really wanted to like this film...
I watched the film all the way through and largely enjoyed it, but there was no suspense or tension for me, instead being somewhat predictable. I read the synopsis about a murder taking place in a neighbour's apartment and that is exactly what happened.

Perhaps the main reason this film failed up to live up to my extremely high expectations was watching it the day after Sidney Lumet's incredible '12 Angry Men' starring Henry Fonda. It's not in the same league.

The main disappointments for me were the plot holes and general non-believability, such as the argument with the detective friend, leading to a stormy exit and a quip along the lines of 'don't bother me again, if you're looking for future help use the yellow pages', followed by a phone call to the aforementioned detective's house, answered by the maid, the message being passed on, accepted as being credible even though he didn't believe the story after several face to face conversations, but instead believing a message passed on by the maid, proceeded by a hurried return to the apartment of the wheelchair-ridden voyeur to go through the whole thing all over again, effectively rubbishing any previous convictions held by the detective or those investigated by the police department.

Another gaping issue is the improbability of a man spending day after day spying on others, sometimes with reflective binoculars and zoom lenses, but not being observed by anyone else. No-one looks at the camera once, except for the murderer at the end of the movie. Society is such that people are more concerned with getting on with their own lives than worrying about others. Not even a paranoid murderer sitting in the dark, lights off, smoking cigarettes, is concerned about a man sitting at his window day and night looking in his direction.

Further improbability is Grace Kelly in the murderer's apartment when she suddenly gets caught, resulting in a physical struggle, followed by our observing 'hero' calling the police, then followed by a pair of cops arriving almost immediately at the upstairs apartment and preventing the murderer from wrestling the intruder onto the couch.

People go out leaving their doors on the latch, a question of personal preference, but having ladders conveniently spanning the exterior of buildings, leading up to the apartment in focus with windows wide open, enabling a half-competent cat burglar in an enormous $1000 dollar frock to slip inside unobserved. Just a little too far fetched for me.

I enjoyed the film, the acting was nice, the coming together of two different worlds into a love story was interesting, the beauty of Grace Kelly absolutely divine, but the plot holes were really distracting and the level of suspense mostly absent.

I've now got 'Vertigo' and 'North by Northwest' to watch on my list of Hitchcock films, so I've mentally dampened my expectations to avoid disappointment. Just remember never to watch this film after the fantastic '12 Angry Men' from 1957.
2013-04-08
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
A wheelchair man spies his neighbors
This is another good thriller of Hitchcock. James Stewart, as usual, was the selection as a leading actor together with the then nice Grace Kelly, always efficient supporting actress Thelma Ritter, a solid acting of Wendell Corey, and the villain Raymond Burr, who later in his career became the famous actor of the detective Perry Mason. The best is that the thriller does not show any particular violent scenes until its end when the wheelchair journalist (Stewart) was caught in his activities by the guilty man (Burr). Notwithstanding with this, the film keeps you always awaiting for a final discovery of the supposed killer. So watching the film you have entertainment, you may see the people's life of 50s, and you enjoy with the plot of the thriller. Film-makers should see how Hitchcock did to delight everyone with a really simple plot.
2002-09-15
Impressive Movie
This is one of the best murder mysteries I've seen because of Hitchkock's artistry. Like 12 Angry Men, it's very simple. The simplicity is used to Hitchkock's advantage. He draws up an intricate murder plot just from one scene. That deserves credit. It's an original and creative way to view a murder story. The acting was also great.
1999-08-13
Hitchcock's tale of voyeurism !!!!
A photographer named L.B. Jefferies has broken his leg. With nothing to do throughout the day, he starts observing his neighbours from his window which leads him to grow more and more suspicious about one particular neighbour's behaviour which leads to extremely suspenseful consequences.

Clearly Hitchcock's theme for this film is voyeurism. We all have at least once watched someone from the window secretively. The thrill of observing people who are completely unaware of our peeping has always fascinated us. This very concept of intrusion of privacy has been the primary reason behind the success of the innumerable reality shows which have become so popular nowadays. The current scenario with reality shows makes Rear Window seem profound. The neighbourhood which is being observed by Jefferies is a representation of the whole society. There is the poor couple who struggle to get by,there is the rich lady who is tortured by her loneliness, there is the young ballet dancer who is trying to make her presence felt in the social scene, the musician who is desperate to achieve success with his talent, the old bickering couple and the young newlyweds.

James Stewart has a commanding presence as Jefferies. Everyone knows about Grace Kelly's looks, but what is great about this film is that Kelly is not there just to look beautiful. She is actually the one who does all the physical thrilling dirty work while Stewart remains attached to his wheel chair.

The screenplay by John Michael Hayes is absolutely brilliant. The whole story gets told from the point of view of Jefferies. This is a rare suspense thriller without any chases or thrilling action sequences. The movie depends completely on atmospheric tension. Hitchcock is not called the Master of Suspense for nothing. He shows how minimalistic filmmaking can also generate spine chilling moments of suspense. The film is grounded in realism. Although at first the other characters disapprove of Jefferies' obsession with keeping an eye on his neighbours, but gradually they also become addicted to this practice of voyeurism.

Rear Window is arguably Alfred Hitchcock's best film(which is saying a lot). The movie grabs your attention immediately and never lets got of it. It is an immensely engaging watch and a genuine masterpiece.
2014-12-04
An Interesting Psychological Thriller
One of the most remarkable things about Rear Window is the way in which the perspective of the cinematography contributes to a feeling of claustrophobia for the viewer as we experience everything outside of the protagonist's apartment from his point of view looking out of his window as he recuperates from a broken leg. The film is an interesting commentary on voyeurism, privacy, and gender although I wish that the plot had been a bit more developed than it was and that the audience was given more context for the murder of the villain's wife, the event which drives the action in the movie. I also wish that the conflicted feelings of the protagonist in reference to marrying his girlfriend had been dealt with in a fuller sense.
2014-12-02
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
Looking Through the Rear Window
"Rear Window" is an excellent thriller by the master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock. All throughout the film, the audience becomes a willing accomplice to a peeping tom. The audience watches the main character's neighbors right alongside the main character.

L.B. "Jeff" Jeffries (Jimmy Stewart) is confined to a wheelchair due to a bad accident in which Jeffries nearly lost his life. It was a car accident, occurring as Jeffries tries to get a picture of a car racing, but the race car ends up coming apart just as Jeffries takes his picture.

Needless to say, Jeffries gets injured and his camera gets broken. He has broken his leg, preventing him from being able to get out of his apartment. These days, when that happens, someone might take to spending their time watching television. However, this film takes place in the 50's, when television was just coming into it's own. As a matter of fact, at the time, advertising companies generally were not agreeing with their clients as to whether or not to advertise on television. The advertising companies thought television was doomed.

Hence we have the reason why Jeffries ends up spending his time watching the neighbors. He has nothing else to do. He makes up his own name for each of them. There is a woman he calls Miss Torso, who dances all the time. There is Miss Lonelyhearts , who cries herself to sleep every night. Then there is the traveling salesman, who Jeffries becomes very concerned about.

Turns out the salesman's wife is bed-ridden. Then why is no one paying attention to her? Why is it the salesman is wrapping such bizarre things as knives, and in newspaper?

The film is centered around this mystery, and the audience becomes a peeping tom themselves as they try to unravel the mystery alongside Jeffries.

What I am trying to point out here is that the film is entertaining, but, like all Hitchcock films, it requires a different sort of attention span than a modern day film does. Sure, the film is about the same length as modern films usually are, but modern films have to have something exciting happen often, something usually in which the main character's life is threatened. Take for example "I Robot." The character played by Will Smith cannot go more than twenty minutes before he has problems with the androids in that movie.

Unlike "I Robot" "Rear Window" has the ability to just focus on the mystery and the development of the characters it has. This is not to say that the film is not interesting. Trying to unravel the mystery to "Rear Window" is fun, even though it means becoming a neighborhood watchdog like Jeffries.

Also, considering the year the film was made, the portrayal of the woman in the film is somewhat sympathetic, like in other Hitchcock classics including "The Man Who Knew too Much." Films from around the time, such as"The Three Faces of Eve" have a tendency to look at all semi- strong woman as either loony or dangerous. "Rear Window," however, has a very sympathetic strong female character in the form of Lisa (Grace Kelly). She goes with the nurse to dig up the plot of ground Jeffries believes the wife is buried in. She is the one who goes and gives Mr. Thorwald (Raymond Burr, known to television audiences as Perry Mason) a threatening note and even breaks into Thorwald's apartment, an event that becomes pivotal to the story in a way I will not mention, through a second story window while wearing high- heels.

In other words, the women of the story make up for Mr. Jeffries' weakness.

These are all reasons why "Rear Window" has stood the test of time. Although there are also other reasons, the film is fun to watch if you don't have to have something exciting happen every few minutes in order for the film to keep your attention. The mystery to the film makes watching "Rear Window" a lot of fun.
2005-02-15
A culture that loves to watch
Only in the hands of master filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock could a seemingly simple tale about a man in a wheelchair watching his neighbours be twisted into a captivating tale of suspense and intrigue, mixed with a sturdy backbone of moral and ethical dilemmas and a social commentary on the culture that would be viewing the film. Hitchcock, who was notorious for mixing in such deeper themes with seemingly superficial suspense epics seemed to particularly relish the tale of Rear Window, a film entirely devoted to a man simply watching. At first glance, the plot sounds overly contrived, even downright dull, but under Hitchcock's careful grasp, the film never drifts into anything less than crackling with low key intrigue and tension - but always equally thought provoking as well as entertaining throughout.

Rear Window proved innovative in film-making style as well as supremely entertaining movie - a masterpiece in pacing, as well as a unique narrative style. The story plays itself out as a murder mystery, but as the plot unfolds, the solution remains abundantly clear to the audience watching the events transpire. Rather than throwing in a hackneyed forced plot twist near the end, Hitchcock is content to simply let the climax unfold exactly as the viewer would have predicted all along - after all, the joy of the film is not solving a mystery, but merely observing the murderous event itself transpire. In a day and age grown so accustomed to climatic plot twists, the absence of any is in itself more of a surprise than another forced plot twist would have been. Unfortunately, one of the film's minuscule flaws is that its ending comes across as a touch abrupt and forced; a minor lapse in pacing in a film which proves an otherwise stellar example of it.

But Hitchcock is not content with simply telling his story in an innovative fashion - his trademark deeper and darker themes make their way into a story which seems deceptively simple, brilliantly written by John Michael Hayes. In many ways, the premise of Rear Window serves as a social commentary on mass culture: people love to watch. How else to explain the enormous generation of income of the film industry than the general public's fascination with the stories of other people; often moreso than in their own lives. James Stewart's character seems to act as a representation of most audience members - too captivated by the social dramas of his neighbours and the glamour of potential murder (another trademark Hitchcock theme) to pay attention to his own life.

And there is no denying that it is enjoyable to watch, as we, the audience, get easily drawn into the private lives of these seemingly inconsequential characters ("Miss Torso", "Ms. Lonelyhearts" and "The Pianist" as Stewart refers to them) framed by the spectacular cinematography, all shot from the room of Stewart's apartment - another reference as to how little it takes to entertain an audience. Indeed, Rear Window seems to serve as a precursor to the world of reality television, and the fascination ensuing from watching shows such as Survivor or Big Brother - simply observing "real life" as it is billed.

Hitchcock also raises moral issues as to the ethics of observing to the point of intrusion of privacy in a scene where Stewart debates the ethics of spying on his neighbours, even if he may bring a murderer to justice. Hitchcock seems to be silently making raising the question to his audiences - we are a culture that loves to watch, but is it always right to watch, and are we always meant to see what we see? Whatever decisions or interpretations audiences may take out of Hitchcock's social commentaries, their mere presence in the film make the unfolding of the plot that much more interesting to follow, and add strongly to the quality of the film overall.

An already brilliantly realized film is only made more powerful by the immensely capable cast - James Stewart proves perfect casting as the ornery yet charming L. B. Jeffries, the wheelchair bound photographer with a bizarre interest in his neighbours' private lives, determined to prove one of them to be a murderer. The peerlessly elegant Grace Kelly brings sheer class to the film as Jeffries' socialite girlfriend, though how could Jeffries ever be capable of pushing such an ideal woman away, and why she continue to be interested in one who comes across as a cranky older man is truly a question for the ages. Character actress Thelma Ritter proves an unquestionable scene stealer, raising many a laugh and making use of many of the film's best lines as Jeffries' unassuming but sharp tongued nurse. Wendell Corey is a similarly strong presence as Jeffries' detective friend who is eventually drawn into the conflict. Raymond Burr, seen almost entirely in extreme long shots still establishes himself as a formidable and intimidating presence as the suspected murderer, and some of the suspenseful scenes involving his character are some of the best nail biting sequences Hitchcock ever churned up. All the supporting players, also seen only in long shots still manage to draw the audience into their personal lives, forcing them to care even when they realize they should be observing dispassionately - an inspired directorial touch.

All in all Rear Window proves to be one of Hitchcock's most fascinating yet philosophical films in a career demonstrating many of the same traits. Though Rear Window may sound slow and uninteresting at first glance, there is a certain fascination the film evokes which triggers inevitable repeat viewing after viewing. This is one window which demands looking into.

-10/10
2007-05-14
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