Hitchcock October Marathon: Rear Window (1954)

by Nevin Hooper

Hello, once again fans of classic movies. It is now October- the month of horror movie, thriller, and other suspense films leading up to Halloween. So, since this month is full of movies of those genres, why not look over one of the best directors of all time, the Master of Suspense himself, Alfred Hitchcock. For this series of reviews I will write four reviews of four of his movies in chronological order. I will start with Rear Window, followed by Vertigo (1958), then North by Northwest (1959), and finally The Birds (1963). So let’s start talking about one of my personal top five favorite films, Rear Window.

If you are not familiar with my grading system, it is simple. It goes from a 0/10 (movies that are so horrible that they should have never been made), to an 11/10 (movies that are so amazing, so fantastic, that you just can’t give the average 10/10 grade).

This Hitchcock masterpiece focuses on a man named L.B. “Jeff” Jeffries (James Stewart, in my personal favorite performance of his) who is a famous newspaper photographer. After breaking his leg in an accident, he is confined to a cast and wheelchair in his apartment. Since he has nothing else to do, he enjoys watching his neighbors outside of his window in his surrounding big apartment complex. One day he is certain that one of his neighbors has murdered someone, and with the help of his friend Lisa (Grace Kelly) and therapist Stella (Thelma Ritter), he goes against everybody’s judgment to figure out if the murder is just a hoax or a real threat.

This movie by far is the most suspensefully nerve wracking films I have ever seen in my entire life. I have never been so on the edge of my seat while watching this movie. The last thirty minutes in this film are probably Hitchcock’s most suspenseful scenes to date. The beauty of this film is you stay in one location throughout the entire runtime of the movie. The entire film never leaves the apartment, so you never see what is beyond it other than a few cars passing by in a little gap in between buildings. Since Jeffries is stuck with this limited view, he is entirely hopeless and the entire movie feels confined.

This is such a well done confined thriller. You are stuck in this one area. You can’t get out but you want to so badly. Yet you have to keep watching to know what happens next. Hitchcock did not get the title of the “Master of Suspense” for nothing. His direction, the editing, the gorgeous cinematography, and the performances give this film such a great enclosed atmosphere.

Like I said, this film is in my top five favorite movies (number three to be specific) and I highly recommend it, and shall gladly give it an 11/10.

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