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Archive for March 9th, 2009

 rear-1

by Allan Fish

(USA 1954 112m) DVD1/2

Preview of coming attractions

p  Alfred Hitchcock  d  Alfred Hitchcock  w  John Michael Hayes  story  “It Had to be Murder” by Cornell Woolrich  ph  Robert Burks  ed  George Tomasini  m  Franz Waxman  art  Hal Pereira, Joseph MacMillan Johnson  cos  Edith Head

James Stewart (L.B.Jeffries), Grace Kelly (Lisa Carol Fremont), Thelma Ritter (Stella), Wendell Corey (Det.Thomas J.Doyle), Raymond Burr (Lars Thorwald), Judith Evelyn (Miss Lonely Hearts),

Rear Window is a film that splits opinion to this day, and was also a film it took me some time to appreciate.  For sure it was always easy to admire the technical virtuosity of the piece, but it was the emotions that took a while to show through.  Rather like the later Vertigo, it grows on you.  It also contains what is Hitchcock’s most singularly relevant cameo appearance; he’s glimpsed early on setting the time on a clock in an apartment opposite, which could not be more appropriate.  He has time in his hands and James Stewart’s L.B.Jeffries has too much time on his hands.

            L.B.Jeffries is an action photographer who has broken his leg and is laid up in his apartment for the seventh straight week.  His only company are the daily visits of his nurse, Stella, and his rich society girlfriend, fashion expert Lisa Fremont.  They warn him about his spending too much time spying out of his window with binoculars and a long focus lens (“you get to looking out the window, seeing things you shouldn’t see; TROUBLE!” says Ritter at one point), but he continues doing so.  However, when he begins to believe that one of his neighbours has killed his harridan of a wife, he gets himself and his cohorts in deadly trouble. (more…)

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