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Rear Window (1954)
Photo: Paramount Pictures

Rear Window (1954)

  Movie House Memories Episode #97
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Paramount Pictures released Rear Window to theaters on September 1, 1954. Alfred Hitchcock directed film which starred James Stewart, Grace Kelly, and Wendell Corey.

Rear Window Movie Summary

Adventurous photographer, LB Jeffries, sits in his wheelchair after breaking his leg while photographing a racetrack accident. “Jeff” stays in his own Greenwich Village apartment while he heals. His only entertainment: to watch the neighbors live their lives around their shared courtyard out his back window. Jeff is bored, and as proverbs says, “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop; idle lips are his mouthpiece.” Jeff begins to voyeur in on his neighbors, passing judgment on their “normal” lives that he so looks down upon.

One night, Jeff sees one of his neighbors, Lars Thorwald, leave his apartment repeatedly during a thunderstorm during the middle of the night. The next day, he notices that Thorwald’s bedridden wife has suddenly disappeared. Jeff begins to suspect the most gruesome of ends for Ms. Thorwald, and convinces his beautiful socialite girlfriend, Lisa Fremont, of his point of view. The pair attempt to convince Jeff’s insurance company nurse, Stella, and Jeff’s friend, New York City Police detective Tom Doyle that a murderer is living across the courtyard from the injured photographer. But nobody wants to believe the Peeping Tom and his high society girl.

Ultimately, did Thorwald kill his wife? If he did, how do Jeff and Lisa prove it? And what will the somewhat loving couple do to find out? And if Thorwald didn’t kill his wife, are the real criminals really Jeff and Lisa? The answers to all these questions comes at the end of Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window.


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  • Eddie

    Wow, only Patrick puts this in his top 100? That is quite a shocker. What’s your favorite Hitchcock, Chris? I’m a big fan, would probably put 10 of his films in my top 100. Really looking forward to your 100th episode recap show, the 50th was a great show. What comes after saving private Ryan, if you don’t mind my asking?

    • moviehousechris

      Yeah, this one rubbed me the wrong way a bit. I’d put Psycho and The Birds ahead of it.

      After Saving Private Ryan is our recap show (it’s actually episode #99.) and then we are reviewing Gone with the Wind which I haven’t seen in about 30 years, so it will be like watching it anew.

      • Eddie

        What do you think of vertigo and north by northwest? Both are in my top 10. That’s great about the recap show and gone with the wind, looking forward to it.

        • Eddie

          Btw I just noticed that you’ve reviewed 6 jimmy Stewart films so far, guess he’s really popular with you guys, interesting comment by Matt about how unique he was as an actor.

          • moviehousechris

            I’d have to check to see if he’s the most popular. At one time, he and Bruce Willis were tied for most films we’ve reviewed.

        • moviehousechris

          I like them both…top 10 Hitchcock films for sure.

  • Lei

    I do feel Jimmy Stewart took Lisa for granted. It was like she had to mold to his lifestyle and that was that and I feel he only fell in love with her when she showed herself to be adventurous. I don’t see what her attraction to him was. He brought nothing to her life. I wouldn’t say he was a complete jerk, but he was on his way down that road. Like was noted, it was a film of its time. But do feel there have been better 50’s men portrayed on screen.

    • MHMChris

      I don’t see her attraction to him at all either. That plot point really annoyed me for this one. Do you like this film other than that?

      • Lei

        I always liked the suspension and mystery of it. The whole romance thing, I usually gloss over. At least this romance made more sense, to me, than North by Northwest, where they fell in love after one meeting. In my opinion, Hitchcock’s romances aren’t always the highlight in any of his movies. Some make more sense than others-Strangers on a Train is one example and maybe Birds. But I definitely don’t watch them for the romance. If I did I probably couldn’t stomach them

        • MHMChris

          Lori was listening to another podcast whose name is escaping me right now, but on that one the podcaster said that she believed Jeff was impotent and that’s why he acted like he did. That’s a very interesting theory which makes lots of sense to me.