Classic: Rear Window (1954) A Review

Alfred Hitchcock, master of suspense and mystery, strikes again.  Another great example of a film with a limited cast and a great story, delivered brilliantly.

Certificate: PG

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Screenwriter: John Michael Hayes, Cornell Woolrich (based on the short story by)

Starring: James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Runtime:112 Minutes

Rating: 4 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

A Magazine photographer with a broken leg is confined to a wheelchair in his apartment while he waits to get better.  With nothing better to do he starts to spy on his neighbours through their windows.  He becomes suspicious that the man living opposite him has murdered his disabled wife and removed her body from the building.  Slowly he begins to convince everyone around him of the misdeeds.  But is he just jumping to conclusions?  Or has something sinister been going on?

Grace Kelly and James Stewart, two pillars of the golden ago of cinema do a stand up job here as Lisa and Jeff.  Their on again off again relationship goes from sizzling chemistry to cool indifference on a dime and bring their characters to life in a great way.  And decades before Stan Lee made it popular, don’t forget to look out for the original master of the movie Cameo, Alfred Hitchcock himself.  He always has a passing cameo in each of his movies.

Everyone has sordid idea about what goes on behind the locked doors of the neighbours houses, they hear snippets of arguments through half open windows etc.  This is example of what would happen if those imaginings got out of hand and you only had pure circumstantial evidence to bet on.  Still, even though you think you know what the outcome will be, the great skill of Alfred Hitchcock means that you still can’t take your eyes off the screen in case you miss something important.  I am not going to lie, I did NOT expect this to end the way it did, so bonus points go to the seventy year old film that can surprise me when a lot of recent releases fail to do so.

It felt a little long to me, like there wasn’t quite enough story to fill the run time, and by shaving off about 20 minutes, they could have made a film with a much better pace, but for the most part, the story runs well, I could have just done without the snippets into the lives of everyone else on the block I guess, it took away from the action a little too often.

Lovers of Hitchcock, or noir mysteries will have a lot to love here, but for people who like their mysteries to have a bit more punch, they may have a hard time with this as the pace is incredibly slow.  Classic movie buffs though will find it a treat.  I recommend.


  1. One of my favorites. I agree that the ending where he is in the house was a surprising choice, and would be hard to pull off, but I love that scene and it still gives me chills when they are finally in the same apartment together.

    Liked by 1 person

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