Just Saw “Rear Window” For The First Time

On June 29, 2013 · 1 Comments

Just saw “Rear Window” for the first time. What a stunning, amazing movie!

Actually – hard as this is to believe – as of a few days ago I had never seen any of Hitchcock’s movies. Now I’ve seen “A Shadow of a Doubt,” which was wonderful (and surprisingly feminist in some ways), and “The Lady Vanishes,” which didn’t do as much for me.

But “Rear Window” was so perfect that I have a hard time imagining any of his other movies will match it, for me. As well as being incredibly cleverly written, it has a lot of elements that I’ve always found appealing: Storytelling constructed around a severe technical limitation (in this case, that nearly all of the story is told using shot angles that Jimmy Stewart’s character could see from his window), a claustrophobic setup, the close urban neighborhood, and the comic-strip like storytelling of the neighbors lives viewed in panel borders (aka windows).

If you’re familiar with “Rear Window,” I’d recommend taking three minutes and watching this amazing version of the entire movie as a single panoramic view.

Bechdel test report: All three movies pass the Bechdel test, although “Shadow of a Doubt” just barely passes (because of a conversation between the protagonist and a grumpy female librarian). I was also struck by the “no one will believe you, you’re a woman!” theme in all three movies – even in Rear Window (where the male protagonist is also disbelieved), the police detective shows a special disdain for Grace Kelly’s testimony, and comments that he’s never heard a theory from a woman that hasn’t been a waste of time.

One Response to “Just Saw “Rear Window” For The First Time”

  1. Mark says:

    I am just so surprised you’ve never seen any of Hitchcock’s movies. Well there is no time like the present, you’ll find that Hitchcock’s vast collection of films span some 50 years so years. You’ve got everything from “The Trouble with Harry” — sort of a “Weekend’s at Bernie’s” with Hitchcock twist. There’s “Strangers on a Train”, were Hitchcock had Dashiell Hammett to write the dialogue but Raymond Chandler took over – till even he could not put up with Hitchcock. You’ve got the 3 Kelly films, of which you like the 2nd one “Rear Window”, but starts with “Dial M for Murder” and ends with “To Catch a Thief” – right before she marries Prince Rainier III. There’s the whole series of films that dot the AFI’s top 100 – the remake of “The Man Who Knew Too Much”, “Vertigo”, “North by Northwest”, “Psycho”, and “The Birds”. Fire up Netflicks, stock up on food and drinks, you’ve got a long treat in store for yourself.

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