Sep 8, 2008

Wiwille's movie reviews part 59

Voyeurism. It's what drives our culture to watch insipid reality shows. It's the reason when standing in the grocery line my eyes end up coming across some rag that celebrates some celebrity who may have lost 5 lbs on a diet when in reality it was due to liposuction and/or cocaine. I suppose there's a peeping tom in all of us and that's why dramatic stories are so popular. I mean that may be part of the reason we read amateur blogs.

'Rear Window' is the story of L. B. Jennings, a newspaper photographer who is holed up in his apartment with a broken leg from an on the job accident. He sits in his apartment all day while being tended to by his nurse Stella. To relieve his boredom he peers through the lens of his camera at his neighbors and observes their various activities. Instead of turning on the television he becomes his own director of the action, setting up his own stories for each occupant, and letting his imagination run wild.

Neglecting his uber hot girlfriend and almost every other responsibility he has L.B.'s need to entertain himself overcomes all. Finding himself suspicious of a certain neighbor and the disappearance of his wife, L.B. keeps a watchful eye on the apartment below. Given his injury he's unable to investigate the scene up close and is powerless to involve himself as anything but an observer.

'Rear Window' is often regarded as Hitchock's best and it's not difficult to see why. Granted he has a long list of impressive films such as Psycho, North by Northwest, and To Catch a Thief, but this one stands out as one of his simplest, but most powerful films. In a single setting Hitchock manages to capture the audiences interest with his vulnerable main character following the action. Setting up L.B.'s camera lens as almost it's own player the action in the film is never overdone or corny. Simple music and street sounds make up most of the score of the picture rather then cheaply capture the audience with powerful symphony.

None of the usual tricks are necessary as the acting, especially by the fore mentioned Burr, is great and the editing is top notch. The theme of the film is well ahead of it's time and resonates today more than ever. The building of suspense by a master of his craft is amazing. Sadly you won't watch this as you've already seen this plot redone numerous times and you, if given the chance to see it, will think 'Disturbia' is better. I hate you.

You should just watch this for Grace Kelly alone as she's quite possibly the most beautiful woman who's ever lived. My god she just had everything. Ohh Grace, dear princess...

Sorry got carried away there.

Thanks to Greg for submitting this as he definitely made up for the time he made me watch White Water Summer. Wanna see a film reviewed by Wiwille? Drop me an email or comment and you'll see it soon on Erik's Ramblings. Rules are posted here.

"Rear Window lovingly invests in suspense all through the film, banking it in our memory, so that when the final payoff arrives, the whole film has been the thriller equivalent of foreplay." - Roger Ebert


Scott said...

This was one of my high school teacher's favourite movies. I loved it. Great review.

Mattbear said...

Good review of an awesome movie. Tied for my favorite Hitchcock film with Psycho. And I love Jimmy Stewart, he really was a good actor.

Miss Ash said...

Sold!!! Now I want to see this movie!

JLee said...

You can't go wrong with Hitchcock and this is a good one. Grace Kelly was so elegant and of a kind.

Anonymous said...

Love love LOVE this movie. ESPECIALLY since Raymond Burr is in it in a role unlike most of his others. and u know how I loves me some RB! (Yay Perry) anywhooo, of all the AH movies, this has always been my fave and I agree with Matt, I love JS too