It may be cliche to say, but I feel cliches are said for a reason: There was never a better director than Hitchcock. It is not that I am just trying to find out more about the mystery of the master of suspense (and romance, and every other thing related to movies), but his movies are so darn entertaining I have no choice but to find out more about him.
“Rear Window” has a special place in my heart for being the first DVD I ever owned. I would argue that, if someone (especially a young potential movie buff) wanted to start watching Hitchcock films, I would start them on “Rear Window”. It is not too freaky, it is in color (a sad fact that most kids would not like black and white films off the bat), and it is easy to follow. Voyeruism is never better shown than in “Rear Window”, where L.B. Jeffries (the amazing James Stewart) is confined to his wheel chair after a mishap in taking a racing photo (which I always thought was almost worth it. That picture was awesome!)
To pass the time, he watches his neighbors. There are a bunch of them for him to look at: the newly weds, who have their shades drawn most of the time, Ms. Torso, the dancer, and Ms. Lonely Hearts, to name a few. One of the neighbors is up to suspicious activity that Jeffries feels may be a murder. If you have not seen the film, I don’t want to give anything away. A young person who never saw this really deserves to see it cold.
One of the main things Hitch almost always does is use a blond in a main role. Here is Jeff’s girlfriend Lisa, played by the extravagent Grace Kelly. Her entrance in the movie is one of the best in cinema. Really, her beauty was almost unfair.
Another key character is Stella, wonderfully played by Thelma Ritter. Her opening lines about how we have all become a bunch of “peeping toms rings true. One line in particular stays with me after the credits: “What people ought to do is get outside their own house and look in for a change”.
Note to parents: one of the neighbors dresses a little risky, but besides that, this movie is fine I feel for middle schoolers and onwards. If your kids say they want to start watching a Hitchcock movie (which I would say is awesome for them), have them start here.
Overall Rating: 5 Stars *****