Halloween Review – “Rear Window”

My favourite Hitchcock kicks off the feature length
double header this Halloween.

Cast, Crew, and Other Info

James Stewart as L. B. Jeffries

Grace Kelly as Lisa Carol Fremont

Wendell Corey as Det. Lt. Thomas J. Doyle

Thelma Ritter as Stella

Raymond Burr as Lars Thorwald

Screenplay by John Michael Hayes, based on a Cornell
Woolrich story.

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock

Complete information is available from the

Buy from: Amazon.com
or Amazon.ca.
This is also available (along with Psycho,
and others) in the 14 film Alfred
Masterpiece Collection
which can be purchased
from either Amazon.com
or Amazon.ca.

Past movie reviews can be found here.


A photographer with a broken leg is unable to leave
his apartment
until he is healed. He watches his neighbours, as he
has nothing
better to do, and soon becomes convinced that one of
them has murdered
his wife.

High Point

The extreme angle shot of Jeff watching his own door.

Low Point

Lisa changes magazines at the end. So much for
character growth.

The Scores

This is an original construction. Hitchcock
often gave
himself technical challenges. In this case, he
challenged himself to
telling an entire story in one room. The intensity he
managed is so
incredible that you’d barely notice that constraint
which had been
placed on himself. (Some of his other films, such as
make the constraints far too clear.) On top of that,
he told a murder
mystery with no witnesses and no corpse. If it
weren’t an adaptation,
it would get a perfect score in this category, instead
of just 5 out
of 6.

The effects involved in the reflections in
the binoculars
were very well done, right down to using a single
circle for the view
through binoculars, rather than the double,
overlapping circle that so
many films mistakenly use. The final, most prominent
effect looked
horrible, however. I give it 3 out of 6.

The story was very well written, allowing the
audience to see
more than Jeff. The wrap-up was a little to quick and
neat, though.
I give it 5 out of 6.

The acting drove much of the film. Stewart,
Kelly, and
Ritter were all excellent, and would have carried the
movie if they’d
had a less competent director. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response this produces is
fantastic. Even
after multiple viewings, I get drawn in and worked up
over it. It’s
often funny, but still incredibly tense. I give it 6
out of 6.

The production was excellent. Hitchcock knew
his craft
better than anyone else working in the suspense genre.
This is an
incredibly effective film, despite the physical
limitations he placed
on himself. I give it 6 out of 6.

Overall, this is a great movie that I’d
recommend to all but
the very young. I give it 6 out of 6.

In total, Rear Window receives 36 out of 42.

Additional Notes and Comments

This movie is currently #14 on the IMDB Top 250
Personally, I think it’s better than entries 1, 6, 7,
8, 9, 11, and
12. (Note that I haven’t yet seen entries 4, 5, or