Rear Window (1954)

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Writers: John Michael Hayes, from a story by Cornell Woolrich

Stars: James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Thelma Ritter, Raymond Burr, Irene Winston, Wendell Corey

Jimmy Stewart plays L.B. "Jeff" Jeffries, a photographer laid up with a broken leg who has taken to spying on his neighbors to alleviate his boredom. 

He becomes suspicious that one of his neighbors, Lars Thorwald (Raymond Burr), has murdered his wife (Irene Winston) and enlists his beautiful girlfriend, Lisa (Grace Kelly), and visiting nurse, Stella (Thelma Ritter), to investigate. 

There is a lot to occupy your mind in this film aside from the pure suspense of the plot.

You can ponder Jeffries's inability to commit to Lisa (could the cast on his leg be a symbol of impotence?). 

Jeffries's profession is essentially voyeuristic--has he forgotten that he can be an active participant in events? 

Aside from his reluctance to engage with Lisa, there is at least one crucial moment in the film when he remains inactive even though there are avenues of action open to him.

Director Alfred Hitchcock even alludes to the voyeuristic nature of film-watching; at times our characters appear to be filmgoers on the edges of their seats as they view the goings-on outside Jeffries's window. 

This film is highly recommended.


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