Movie Review- Rear Window

Hey Folks,

 

 

 

So it’s our first Thriller Thursday (yeah I know) and in order to do it up right we are going to the master of the Thriller himself; Mr. Alfred Hitchcock and the classic:

 

 

 

Rear Window

 

 

 

 

Fast Facts

 

Made in 1954 and directed by (again) Alfred Hitchcock. Rear Window is a thriller in the traditional sense, it is a long, slow burning drive to an intense finish and Hitchcock as always delivers the goods in a big way.

 

You’re welcome

Our story centers on a photographer with a broken leg, who has been amusing himself by watching his neighbors. When he suspects one of them murdered his wife…well shit gets real.

 

Honestly if you live in the English speaking world and don’t know the premise for virtually every Hitchcock movie…you didn’t watch enough cartoons growing up.

 

 

Again: Tiny Toons….totally did this

 

Cast

 

If Clarence had known he’d become a peeping tom…

James Stewart- Plays L B Jeffries the aforementioned photographer and neighborhood peeping tom. This is widely regarded as one of Stewart’s best roles and while I have to cede that point, I am about to say something kind of blasphemous.

 

 

Jimmy Stewart is a terrible actor. He’s the kind of actor where no matter what movie you’re watching, he’s not the character, he’s just Jimmy Stewart, the fact that ‘Jimmy Stewart in a wheelchair’ happens to be his best incarnation of himself isn’t really saying much in my opinion. His career is sort of like if Keanu Reeves only took movies with good writing that became instant classics.

 

I really don’t care that she’d be like 90 right now…you know you’d tap that

 

Grace Kelly- Plays Lisa Fremont and creates the single largest plot hole in this movie for me…How the fuck do you concentrate on anything else when Grace Kelly’s trying to make out with you? I mean hell if I was in that wheelchair I wouldn’t have a clue if my neighbor nailed his wife to the roof and left her there.

 

I mean that’s like if you were in your apartment and all of a sudden Morena Baccarin showed up in lingerie carrying a tray of chocolate covered bacon sprinkled with the tears of your enemies…. Please tell me I’m not the only one who fantasizes about that….

 

 

Oh my god I need photoshop

 

 

…and the attention of a licensed counselor….

 

 

 

 

Yeah whatever.

 

Congratulations sir you’re playing, ‘ man would be right in every other conceivable reality’

Wendell Corey- Plays Detective Tom Doyle resident voice of reason who has the audacity to follow the Constitution when it comes to search and seizure. And who will be thoroughly trounced by circumstantial evidence that no sane person would accept as a case for murder.

 

I want you to be my snarky godmother

Thelma Ritter- Plays Stella. She is legit the best part of this movie, largely because she is the only character that reacts or sounds like a real person. She’s fucking hysterical.

 

Terrifying ain’t he?

Raymond Burr- Plays Lars Thorwald the murderous neighbor, trivia for you, he’s also Perry Mason. Which puts a weird little spin on it huh?

 

 

 

 

 

Observations

 

 

Ok I’m going to admit something here: I had never seen this before last week. Shocking, I know, blasphemous, I know, borderline criminal, I know, indicative of some severe character flaw…watch your mouth.

 

watch you’re back

 

 

creeper….

 

The truth is that because of my previously blasphemous revelation that I cannot stand James Stewart I avoided this movie like the plague. I mean an entire film centered on old dippy dawg sitting in a wheelchair and staring out the window with only shadows behind blinds for distraction?

 

 

There are some exceptions

Thank god I was wrong.

 

Rear Window is the definition of a thriller, I mean the thing’s been out forever and I didn’t (given through making absolutely no attempt to do so) even stumble upon the ending, that’s the only way to watch this the first time. It’ll keep you guessing the whole way through if you’re diligent about not cheating.

 

 

 

Which is why I’m not going to say another word about the climax of the film. Yes, even I queen of the spoilers will not be enabling just this once.

 

 

However I will be doing a three step breakdown on why this movie’s awesome, therefore if you are still in the dark on this one and would like to see it the way it was meant to be seen, stop reading and come back in two hours.

 

 

 

Or you could flee for your life

 

 

 

 

  1. The ‘Murder’.

 

 

I’m leaving it in quotes…deal with it. This is classic Hitchcock in that it really isn’t even a scene. It’s a moment within a scene, it’s not shown, and it’s practically nothing. We just see Jimbo nod off and then we hear a short scream, not even a particularly impressive one. It’s a fantastic choice, we have evidence that Stewart doesn’t, we heard the scream; and yet you will spend the rest of the movie listening to perfectly plausible explanations for what we think is murder…

 

Damn novelty noisemaker…

 

 

And you will believe them, every last one. One thing I love about this movie, it treats the cops pretty well actually for what it is. Everyone who can leave the apartment (which we never do, it’s amazing oh my fucking god you guys I love Hitchcock) is doing their homework, and an A+ job of it too. Everything is accounted for.

 

 

Everything except the scream.

 

 

 

 

  1. Stella

 

This one isn’t exactly a cinematic critique. I just love Stella. She’s the voice of the audience the entire way through the film. Stewart and Kelly are all talking about what might have happened in very high terms, very little sensationalism.

 

Then Stella has a brief soliloquy on the logistics of cutting up a corpse.

 

Also her theory for best avoiding the tough sinewy bits in the neck was very enlightening

She desanitizes the violence, of which visually speaking there really isn’t any, I mean for Christ’s sake it was made in 1954 this isn’t exactly what you’d call a gore fest.

 

Which is exactly why Stella is vital, she gets your mind churning in places the film hasn’t visually prompted it to go. Just having someone there pruriently describing carnage works better than a gallon of corn syrup ever could.

 

I fucking love Stella, also she’s funny as shit.

 

 

 

 

  1. The Set.

 

Most people know the set up for this movie so I’m not going to bother really describing it….

 

 

 

Also pictures exist

 

 

That’s all on one soudstage, all the apartments had working lights and water, this movie is essentially 1954’s answer to Peter Jackson.

 

It helps with the realism so much, the scale is correct, you don’t have to do quick cuts every time you focus on a new neighbor, the camera just pans the set the same way your eye would, insert compliment here it fucking works.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion

 

I know this isn’t as in depth as we normally go, I think part of it is that if there is one pitfall for this movie. It’s that it isn’t scary. It really isn’t. But this is one of those rare films that doesn’t have to be. It’s a ride, and given much more so a rollercoaster than a haunted house. But rollercoaster’s are (not at all but it’s a metaphor) fun. This one especially so.

 

 

Honestly it’s worth a look, if nothing else than once again I have been reminded to never ever turn down a chance to watch something that Alfred Hitchcock touched, and that the hipsters might actually know what they’re talking about when they say his movies are the only horror they think is ‘true horror’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All in all an 8 out of 10. Points deducted for no naked Grace Kelly and a general lack  of horrification.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your caffeinated Screamstress,

 

 

 

 

~Fright Dyke

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