Movie of the Week: Rear Window (1954)

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Alfred Hitchcock directs James Stewart, Grace Kelly and Raymond Burr in this classic thriller of a housebound man who thinks his neighbour across the way might be a murderer. 

Quintessential Hitch and one that grows on me more with every viewing. Watching All American Jimmy Stewart and pristine Hollywood royalty in waiting Grace Kelly slowly growing more corrupted with their morbid fascination (they in turn are watching a man they suspect has killed, dismembered and dumped his wife as we watch them) makes Rear Window a true guilty pleasure. It all looks so technicolor pleasant, a prestige production about the lives we spy on, our leering inaction as they spiral out of control. Yet then we get gripping set pieces like Kelly daintily dropping off a blackmail letter or Stewart trying to keep his eyes open to track his suspect’s nocturnal movements. A fine romance bubbles away as a troubled relationship is thickened and renewed by rubbernecking and amateur sleuthing. Technically the creation of the back of an apartment block the other side of our one location set is a cinematic marvel. Hitch plays with his new elaborate toy gleefully, none more so than when putting Stewart and Kelly in suggestive positions.

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