Rear Window (1954)
Reviewed on 2008 January 4
Can you think of anyone else besides Jimmy Stewart who could spy on his neighbors and not creep you out (too much)?
L. B. Jefferies (Stewart) is a photojournalist chafing as much from boredom as he is the cast on his badly broken leg. It’s summer in 1950s New York, and he doesn’t have air conditioning, so I can just imagine how that feels. It’s also pre-cable, so what’s a guy to do? Since I’m a bookworm I’d give a trusted friend my plastic and have them sack bookstores for me, but photographer Jefferies decides to watch the human zoo around his apartment complex. The squick factor is lessened by the fact his socialite/fashionista girlfriend Lisa Carol Fremont (Grace Kelly) doesn’t run away screaming either, and on her planet using the wrong prawn fork would get you talked about as you got up for the ladies’ room. We reason Jeff can’t be too bad.
Lisa is completely besotted with Jeff, and is willing to try to traveling with him — she wants to immerse herself in his world. Since she’s saying this while wearing a designer gown that is a house payment (or six) for most people, Jeff is skeptical she’d take to wearing jeans and eating native food instead of Sardi’s stuff. Lisa bristles, reminding Jeff how patient she’s been, waiting for him to make a commitment. She’s even willing to listen when he thinks one of his neighbors (Raymond Burr) might have murdered his invalid wife! How insane is that?
Rear Window, Strangers on a Train, and Psycho are my favorite Hitchcock movies. I think this one does the best job of showcasing Hitchcock’s famous dark humor. We’re watching along with Jeff and we’re as entertained by the whole spectacle as he is. Of course, the acting didn’t hurt a bit either. Miss Lonelyheart never utters a word. She doesn’t have to.
Three chocolate morsels and a brandy, served in a vintage oversized glass.