Starring: James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Running Time: 112 mins
Rear Window is an American film about a man, stuck in a wheelchair because of a broken leg, who spends his time spying on his neighbours out of his window, however in doing so, he sees someone acting suspiciously, making him think that they have committed a murder…
Well, this is one of Hitchcock’s ultimate classics, and it really shows. Despite being very slow-starting, this film has one of the most thrilling stories of them all, while it’s technically genius at the same time, all coming together to make an exceptionally exciting and frightening film.
So, the first part of this film is not great, I’ll admit that. It takes over 45 minutes for even a mention or hint of the murder mystery, so prior to that, it’s just character establishment and chatting, a lot of it barely plot-related.
While it is quite boring to sit through at the start, however, it comes in very useful towards the end, so I urge you to make it through the hour or so where there is very little actually going on, because it builds up to an absolutely thrilling climax.
As soon as the first suspicions are revealed, tensions begin to shoot up significantly, and everything becomes a lot faster-paced than the opening stages. Suddenly the whole story becomes rather sinister, ultimately feeling like a real life-or-death situation, which adds hugely to the thrill of it all.
And as well as being so exciting, this is also a really frightening story. That’s mainly down to the fact that it’s such a simple but realistic idea, while the inescapable situation James Stewart’s character finds himself in makes it so much more perilous and heart-pounding.
Along with the fantastic story, Hitchcock’s directing is absolutely stunning. Whether it’s the simple setting of everything, the very plain and flat but realistic shots, it really adds to making it a convincing story, but it’s his use of the apartment walls to create a bizarre split-screen effect that makes for unbearable tension that was the most impressive and original part of the entire film, so that’s why it gets an 8.4.