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Reel Reviews – Rear Window

Reel Review #34: I’m not much on rear window ethics. It is time to take a look at a classic from 1954. Easily one of the greatest films ever committed to celluloid. Rear Window is film where everything goes right. Wonderfully directed by Alfred Hitchcock, great performances by James Stewart and Grace Kelly with a terrific story. “A murderer would never parade his crime in front of an open window. ”

Direct download: Reel Reviews – Rear Window (19:48min 13.7MB)
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11 Responses to “Reel Reviews – Rear Window”


  1. Gravatar Icon 1 Julio Ohep Apr 15th, 2005 at 6:07 am

    Hi Michael,

    I just listened to the latest Reel Review and could’t wait to write you. So
    this email comes from my cell phone.

    I love Rear Window and your review was spot on! I discovered Rear Window in
    1990 while trying to watch some Hitchcock. Four things struck me right away:
    that such a good film could take place entirely in an apartment, how you feel
    like a voyeour when you watch it, I became an instant fan of Jimmy Stewart and
    fell madly in love with Grace Kelly.

    I love Reel Reviews! Thanks,

    -Julio Ohep
    Caracas, Venezuela

  2. Gravatar Icon 2 Michael Apr 15th, 2005 at 6:21 am

    Julio,

    Rear Window can have that effect, once you see it, you fall in love with it. You bring up a great point about the apartment. I never want to go too long in a standard Reel Review, but I was kicking myself for not talking about more about how everything takes place from Jeffries’ vantage point. The camera stays in the apartment stuck with him in his wheelchair. A perfect example is when Lisa goes to Thorwald’s aprtment building. We see the action of that sequence as Jeff does – out his window. We are just as helpless as him.

    Great stuff!

  3. Gravatar Icon 3 Tony Steidler-Dennison Apr 15th, 2005 at 10:02 am

    This is my all-time favorite movie, hands-down. Jimmy Stewart is classic. Grace Kelly is ravishing. Thelma Ritter is endearingly gruff. And Raymod Burr is frighteningly understated, in a way that only the directorial hand of Hitckcock could pull off.

    I had the pleasure of seeing this movie in the early 80s from the balcony of an old, ornate theater. At that time, five Hitchcock movies existed that had only made one circuit of the theaters. Those movies were then put in the vault for Hitchcock’s estate. They were “Rear Window,” “Vertigo,” “The Man Who Knew Too Much,” “Trouble With Harry,” and “Rope.” When the legal challenges to the Hitchcock estate were cleared, these five were re-released and played theatres across the country. In my city, each was in the theatre for two weeks. My wife and I had a great summer with Hitchcock. As much as I’ve loved the additional materials and the digital remastering of the “Rear Window” DVD, there’s nothing quite like seeing this film in it’s full widescreen glory.

    Any one of those movies would warrant a review on “Rell Reviews,” though “The Trouble With Harry” and “Rope” are a bit more esoteric than the usual classic Hitchcock fare.

    Quick — the Hitchcock cameo in Rear Window?

  4. Gravatar Icon 4 Tony Steidler-Dennison Apr 15th, 2005 at 11:38 am

    One more quick note on the film’s perspective. There is a single shot in the movie that takes place outside Jeffries’ apartment – only one. Without a spoiler, I can only say watch for it toward the end.

  5. Gravatar Icon 5 Julio Ohep Apr 15th, 2005 at 4:09 pm

    Michael,

    I can only speak for myself, but as an avid Reel Reviews listener, I can tell you that I would’t mind longer podcasts for movies that merit them.

    I’d love to hear a Cinephile Series on “Rear Window” or even simply a different kind of Reel Review in which you expand to your heart’s content. ;-)

    Keep it up!

    -Julio Ohep
    Caracas, Venezuela

  6. Gravatar Icon 6 Lenny Apr 15th, 2005 at 5:37 pm

    Rear Window is an enjoyable film but one thing bothers me every time I watch it. It seems highly unrealistic to me. Where is the apartment building where you can watch your neighbors walk from room to room in front of wide open windows ? No blinds ,shades or drapes. Everyone lives in a fish bowl. Even if you want to commit murder you do it in front of an open window where everyone across the courtyard can see you. Are you an attractive woman ? Then you get undressed right by the window, of course. And if you are housebound with a broken leg ? By all means sit at the window with a pair of binoculars and spy on the other tenants all day and night. No problem. They welcome it. It’s better than watching TV all day. I couldn’t buy the premise of this film at all and I have never seen these points brought up in a review.

  7. Gravatar Icon 7 Tony Dudley Apr 16th, 2005 at 12:16 am

    Hey Michael, I agree with Julio. I could handle longer reviews or just more of them. I’m hooked. I’ve listened to every one but Heat. For some reason it won’t play. I plug your site on all the film forums I come across to get you more listeners for the selfish fact that I don’t want it to end. Keep up the great work.

    Your loyal listener,
    Tony Dudley
    Muncie, IN

  8. Gravatar Icon 8 mandrake Apr 18th, 2005 at 12:49 am

    I have a tough time choosing between Rear Window and Vertigo as my favorite Hitchcock movie. Fortunately, I don’t have to! :)

  9. Gravatar Icon 9 Eric Apr 19th, 2005 at 8:21 am

    Downloading this one now, really looking forward to listening to it, one of my old time favs :).

  10. Gravatar Icon 10 Steve Holden Apr 20th, 2005 at 12:11 pm

    Great review of a great movie!

  11. Gravatar Icon 11 Cameron Reilly Apr 22nd, 2005 at 5:17 am

    Another great show Mike! But I was surprised you didn’t mention the most famous thing about the film, which is (I think) Hitch’s opening shot. The camera just wanders around Stewart’s apartment and gives you his entire backstory without a word being spoken. You see his photos from “the front”, the car crash, etc.

    Sickeningly, I recently was subjected to Garfield (talked about it, and you, on our latest movie show ) and the director used the exact same opening shot, an homage to Hitch in Garfield, if you can believe it!

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