Rear Window (1954), as I’m sure I’ve already told you, has always been my favorite Hitchcock movie. Mind you, it’s a big list and the top 10 changes every once in a while. But Rear Window is always at the top. I love everything about it. The plot, the characters, the sets, the music and, of course, Grace Kelly’s outfits! Oh my God, they’re a thing of beauty. Also, the way her character makes her entrance is completely legendary. There’s a big close-up of her gorgeous face as she kisses Jimmy Stewart and then the camera reveals her full body as she turns on the lights and says her name (Lisa…. Carol… Freemont…). Fantastic.
I think this is probably Hitchcock’s most cleverly made movie. Because it’s set in one place, so he really had to be creative here. We’re in Jeff’s apartment the whole time, watching his neighbors with him. His girlfriend Lisa comes over every day and she is much more interested in him. Their relationship is a bit rocky, because, apparently, ‘she’s too perfect’, as he points out to his nurse Stella (Thelma Ritter).
The stories going on in the other apartments are just as entertaining as Jeff and Lisa’s relationship. A ballerina ‘juggling wolves’; a lonely woman and her endless loneliness; a frustrated piano player who can’t seem to finish his song; a newlywed couple who very much behave like a newlywed couple indeed; an elderly couple with their dog; and of course, the Thorwalds, the married couple who can’t stand each other. All of them seem to be a representation of what Jeff and Lisa could be.
Then, of course, there’s a murder. Naturally. The final scene (which I won’t spoil for the 3 people in the world who haven’t seen it) is probably my favorite scene from any Hitchcock film. It really does keep you at the edge of your seat, and that’s not just a cliche. Ten minutes or so of unstoppable suspence. Genius.