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Purchase Rear Window (1954) Movie Online and Download - Alfred Hitchcock 🎥
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
Hitchcock's Classy Voyeurism Thriller...
One of the joys of Alfred Hitchcock films is his ability to take social taboos, present them in an enticing context, throw in major stars we know and respect to perform them, and thus make abhorrent behavior seem attractive! 'Vertigo' is the best-known example of this Hitchcock trait ('Psycho' also comes to mind), but 'Rear Window' is arguably the most fun to watch, because of the appealing combination of James Stewart and Grace Kelly.

Stewart is a photographer, laid-up while recuperating from an accident (cleverly shown through photographs in his studio), who, out of boredom, begins spying on his neighbors through binoculars. Virtuous Jimmy Stewart a 'Peeping Tom'? Only Hitchcock could get away with this!

Of course, Kelly, as his high fashion model girlfriend, and Thelma Ritter (who is fabulous as his nurse), are appalled by Stewart's behavior, but are drawn into voyeurism by Stewart's devotion to it, particularly after he witnesses an apparent murder (committed by Raymond Burr, in one of the most wonderfully EVIL roles of his career).

The film takes on a cat-and-mouse intensity, as Stewart attempts to prove Burr's guilt to his skeptical policeman buddy (nicely played by Wendell Corey). To add a touch of sexual foreplay to the proceedings, Kelly models a variety of '50s evening and nightwear, while teasing the injury-constrained Stewart ("Previews of Coming Attractions", she purrs). All this leads up to a fabulous, claustrophobic finale, with camera flashes, and a twist ending that is pure Hitchcock magic.

If you haven't seen 'Rear Window', run, do not walk to your video store, and rent it! You'll quickly discover why it is one of Alfred Hitchcock's most popular films!

2003-08-16
Hated the ending
****MAJOR SPOILER ALERTS****

This movie could have been about a 9 but they built it all up to the most stupid and predictable ending ever!

Where was the twist?

What was the message? Just because you are paranoid doesn't mean your neighbors aren't trying to kill you...? Really disappointing.

Hitchcock had it primed to deliver a powerful ending with Stewart's paranoia either destroying his own life (getting his girlfriend jailed, his best friend fired, and losing his own mind) and/or destroying his neighbor's life for no reason (getting him arrested for murder even though his wife was still alive, or killing him/suicide out of fear).

The era this film was made demanded a much more wholesome ending. As a result we were forced to accept that despite all logic and evidence to the contrary, the paranoid crackpot murder theory of a shut-in depressed photographer was dead right from the beginning.

This film should be remade with a much more intelligent and thought provoking ending.
2008-07-31
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
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
Rear Window starts slow but is rewarding in the end.
Rear Window

Picture this: You're all alone in your apartment, dancing in your underwear when you suddenly stop cold. The little hairs on the back of your neck stand on end, and you get the feeling that someone is watching you dance the night away through your window. Well, before you call the cops and tell them you have a peeping tom, why don't you wave at them because your peeping tom just might be...Jimmy Stewart.

Yes, Jimmy Stewart likes to look through peoples windows when they're in their underwear in the movie `Rear Window'. And to tell you the truth, he does a pretty good job of it too. Jimmy played a character named Jeff who was confined to a wheelchair in his apartment as a result of a broken leg. He was perfectly cynical, and his idleness, and curiosity of other people's private world was his downfall. Jeff was like a stereotypical house wife who gets caught up in their `stories', or soap operas. Jeff was becoming more and more absorbed in the private worlds outside of his rear window until he was finally sucked into that world in the shocking conclusion. Jimmy Stewart played this character with strength and established Jeff's cynicism, stubbornness and his meddlesome tendencies.

But the viewer wasn't always paying attention to Jimmy and his paranoia, because there was often times something a little easier on the eyes on the screen. The beautiful Grace Kelly played opposite of Jimmy Stewart. Even though her beauty was undeniable, she was more hypnotic than anything else. It was in the way she delivered her lines with such, dare I say, grace. Her parents weren't kidding when they named her after beauty.

Hitchcock used his resources to create beauty in every frame that appealed to all five senses and most emotions also. And even more amazing is how he filmed the whole movie out of the little apartment, and made it both an interesting story which built to a fantastic crescendo, but his cinematic genius was also stimulating to the mind. Hitchcock created visual metaphors of Maslow's Hierarchy of needs and of basic, raw humanity. He accomplished this with his set that had a apartment building that symbolized the human state, with the rock bottom sad people in the lower apartments and the happy people in the top floor apartments.

Hitchcock's film `Rear Window' had many levels much like his metaphorical apartment building. And from every angle there was something to appreciate in this movie. It captured beauty, it captured humanity, it reflected raw and polished life. `Rear Window' is in every sense of the word `art'.
2004-03-01
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
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
Sweating the details with the Master
It was Fred Astaire who discovered that you have to photograph dancers with a static camera because dancers move and a moving camera reduces movement. Most of Alfred Hitchcock's films, (although not all: see ROPE) are like a game of billiards. The characters are like billiard balls moving all over the table and colliding with each other until they all meet at the finale. But here the camera is static and it is the world that moves. What comes out is not simply the story, but all the details- all the stories. The result is a moment in time- a few days in the courtyard of a New York City apartment building in the sweaty summer of 1954- captured forever and most vividly. How many details and how many human stories do you see in FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT, SABOTEUR, THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH or NORTH BY NORTHWEST? Just the one. When you watch those films you are in an audience in a theater, watching a story played out on the screen. Here you see it all. You are in the movie. Remembering REAR WINDOW is like remembering something that you witnessed yourself- something that actually happened to you, not just a movie you watched. The result is not just Hitchcock's greatest film but one of the greatest films ever made.

The marvelous detail of this film is just amazing. Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly are legends of the cinema and Thelma Ritter, Wendell Corey and Raymond Burr are actor's actors. But the real star is the set, a world unto itself. And the photography of that set, all that was needed to allow us to see into the rooms clearly- it's amazing stuff, (the lighting needed was so hot it set off the sprinkler system). But even better than that is the sound. It's not all just flat on the soundtrack, like actors in a dubbing session. Like good radio drama, it recognizes that people who are some distance away sound different. The voices coming from across the courtyard are just perfectly done and do more than even the camera work to `put you there'.

The musical score for this film is not a film score at all- it's the music of these people, also heard across the courtyard. We hear the composer composing his song. We don't hear him doing it in five minutes, as we have heard in all the musicals. Instead it evolves over time. The dramatic piano cords he plays underscore the drama to come. We also hear some opera music that does the same. Everyone seems to have their own music-everyone except Thorwald, the murderer. And what a brilliant touch it is to make the murder a pathetic man, instead of some brilliant mastermind. In the end, he is one of us, as well, in a twisted way.

I can't think of another movie that creates a world so vivid for the audience to live in. ROPE was strictly about the action in the apartment. The view out the window is just a painted backdrop. Maybe a better comparison could me made to DEAD END, but as good as that film it's not really the same. Our perspective changes too much. Perhaps my favorite scene in REAR WINDOW is the one moment, (seconds, really), the perspective does change. It's when Jefferies is struggling with Thorwald and everyone in the apartment house looks in the direction of his apartment for a change. Now there's a twist!
2003-09-07
Very Overrated
I saw this film and thought little of it. I thought that most of the story was... bad. A man believes one of his neighbors committed murder. Okay, so you call the police. COMMON SENSE!!!

But then, what if the police don't find evidence, or don't believe you? Then FORGET ABOUT IT!!!

But then, what if you decide to be stupid and, despite being in a wheelchair, decide to stop him ultimately by force and your camera's flash, which surprisingly holds him at bay long enough for help to get there after, of course, you are knocked off a low balcony that you would survive the fall from. SO the killer will get caught after all. Oh yeah, if I killed, I would let the witness survive and get caught.

No common sense was put into this. Without it, most movies aren't very good. This is no exception, and stands as a very overrated movie.
2002-12-22
A Redundant But Insightful Reflection On Rear Window
I am sitting here wondering why I am commenting on Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window. It is a definitive classic of enduring interest, quality, and style. The last sentence is as redundant as this review will be. I mean, what can I say that not only hasn't already been said but isn't already known? Its masterful voyeuristic cinematography, its impeccably atmospheric sound and John Michael Hays's screen adaptation of Cornell Woolrich's short story have been quite sufficiently recognized over the past half century. I suppose there is one thing that people don't tend to think about, or at least it is one thing I haven't heard anyone say, and that is that Rear Window is a virtuoso portrait the human element of privacy, and feeling naked when we notice that it is invaded. What's more, that invasion is another element of human nature: Voyeurism.

What else is left to debate for incessantly lovable Jimmy Stewart, a successful photographer whose restlessness takes him all over the world and into situations where he takes pictures no one else gets, recuperating from a broken leg during a scorching hot summer? Here is a restless daredevil who makes a living with his eyes, laid up in a wheelchair in a small, apartment. This is 1954. He's not going to sit at the computer and blast people on IMDb message boards. He does what any one of his neighbors could be found doing in his situation: Alleviating boredom by spying on the lives of his neighbors. Furthermore, his view is perfect! Through his rear window, he can see into the building across the courtyard of the complex and glimpse from front row seats the residents' daily routines. There's the ubersexy dancer who exercises in her underwear, the couple who sleep on their small balcony because they don't have air conditioning, a lonely woman who lives by herself (who alternately gains great sympathy from us and generates cruel laughs at her expense; true to the spirit of voyeurism), and a frustrated songwriter always at his piano. And, there is the salesman, a pitch-perfect Raymond Burr, who lives directly across the courtyard from Jimmy Stewart, the one with the pesky, harassing invalid wife.

I can safely assume that nearly everyone who reads this generally knows the gist of the plot. It is a fine plot, ever condusive to everything Hitchcock. What is so significant about it to me is how it takes two seemingly conflicting sides of human nature and turns the suspenseful corner by dangling by a thread the inevitable, which is that an everyday person, no matter how fixed they are in their day-by-day algorithms, just may eventually discover that feeling of nakedness, of intrusion.

Though there are films by Hitchcock that I favor more, like The Lady Vanishes, Shadow of a Doubt, and Rope, Rear Window stands as pure cinema: Blatantly and shamelessly visual, full of layers of audible details from the ambient to deafening.
2008-09-02
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