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MovieAddict's Movie Reviews (522)

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Rear Window 
Be careful looking out the window!
3.5/4 stars

James Stewart stars as L.B. Jeffries, a war photographer confined to a wheelchair who spends the better part of his days viewing the many happenings of his neighbors across the way from him, via binoculars and zoom telephoto lens and camera thanks to his rear window which has a perfect view of everyone there. It's like watching about 15 different soap operas at once.

His only contact with the outside world arrives in the form of his nurse, Stella (Thelma Ritter), and female friend Lisa Fremont (Grace Kelly), a rich socialite who has a romantic interest in Jeffries.

As Jeffries watched neighbors, he becomes suspicious of Lars Thorwald, (Raymond Burr), a salesman with a wheelchair-bound wife who disappears suddenly on a rainy night. Clues he pieces together from his voyeurism convinces him that there is foul play. Or is there?

As he pries more and more into Thorwald's life, he gets closer and closer to the man himself; climaxing in Lisa's entry into Thorwald's home to search for clues, and the mano-a-mano confrontation between Jeffries and Thorwald at the film's end.

Hitchcock played with the audience by having them play the role of voyeur along with Jeffries he knew that human nature compels us to keep staring, even when polite society tells us to look away and mind our own business. Stewart is brilliant in this very difficult role. His helpless frustration at his condition as the film nears its climax is suspense at its finest. Rear Window has all the elements one expects from Hitchcock, thrilling plot, witty and sophisticated dialog and a wry conclusion to it all.


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