Wednesday, 5 September 2012

CLASSICS: Rear Window

It has recently occurred to me that I am to become a film student later this month. Therefore it is required of me to have seen a wide range of films, and believe me, I have seen a lot of films! There is only one problem though, and that problem is that I have only ever seen one film by Alfred Hitchcock. That film being Rebbecca when I was younger. Alfred Hitchcock has been named one of the most influential filmmakers of all time so therefore I really should have seen more of his works. That is why I am starting a new segment on the blog where I will review every Hitchcock film I see, in order to learn more about film and whether Hitchcock really is as great as everyone says he is. Starting with my review of Rear Window below.

Rear Window is considered Alfred Hitchcock's best film. It stars James Stewart as a wheelchair bound photographer with only one week left until he is able to have the cast taken off his broken leg.  He uses his time to stare out of the window into his neighbours homes in order to have insight into what kind of life they live. Due to this fascination he stumbles across what he believes to be murder from the apartment opposite.

It is definitely true that Hitchcock was ahead of his time in terms of creating suspense in film, especially in one where the main character is stuck in one location. Although some of the camera techniques would not be considered original nowadays, you can definitely see that Hitchcock was experimenting with his work in order to create something that audiences hadn't seen before.

There are so many complex and original ideas put into a very simple story. My favourite being the use of a seemingly diegetic soundtrack, that comes from a musicians apartment next door to the main character Jeff. Even though this is a simple technique, it is something that is very clever yet rarely used in film nowadays. The only recent film I can think of is The Human Centipede 2 but I don't even want start to go into comparisons with that!

The acting is good and is very similar to any film from that period. James Stewart and Grace Kelly are great but don't exactly seem like a perfect match, but this is something that may have been done on purpose to create more depth and subtle hints to the sub plots which this story has many of.

The themes of the film are also more insightful then first thought. The theme of voyeurism, being a peeping tom is the most heavily looked at. Looking into the human mind and wondering why we are attracted to watching other people for our own pleasure, essentially why we enjoy gossip. Unfortunately this film did nothing to stop our society's fetish with gossip which really has spiralled out of control in the last couple of years year.

This wasn't the best film I have ever seen, neither was it the most suspenseful, but you can definitely see that it has its roots in many of our modern day hits. This film definitely proves Hitchcock was influential, but I'll have to watch more of his work before I decide on whether he is the best filmmaker who ever lived. I am giving Rear Window a a rating of 4/5.

What do you think? Is Hitchcock the greatest filmmaker ever or not? Is Rear Window a  masterpiece? Please comment below, and thanks for reading!


  1. I assume/hope/suggest you see Psycho.
    A shot from it is part of your collage background after all.

    1. I'm afraid I did not create my background and have yet to see Psycho. Although I have read a lot about it and it will be one of the upcoming films I review in my Hitchcock segment.

  2. Hey!

    Nick from here. Doing some scout work for the LAMB. We're wanting to make an email newsletter for community features as well as a list we're making similar to Sight & Sound's best movies of all time list. Just need an email! Email me at npowe131 at


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