Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window
This movie with Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly is one of my all-time favorite suspense-thrillers. It has it all, suspense, mystery, romance, intrigue, Grace Kelly, art, health issues, and Grace Kelly. Oh did I say that twice? The premise is so simple it is genius. A photographer breaks his leg and has to stay homebound. Bored, he spends his time looking into the windows of the apartment building across the way and inadvertently sees what he is sure is a murder. What a great storyline. I have seen remakes of this movie and reuse of the plot in other TV series dramas but this original, of course, is the best. Similar versions were done on The Simpsons, That ‘70’s Show, The Flintstones, Mathnet, White Collar, Raising Hope, and Saturday Night Live. However, my favorite spoof on Rear Window theme was done on Castle, season 5, episode 19 called “The Lives of Others.” I knew what was going to happen next, having loved Rear Window so long, but I was still sucked into the story and Castle (Nathan Fillion) played the Jimmy Stewart part perfectly. Just for fun, I think I'll go watch that episode again!
Fears and Phobias
I read where Alfred Hitchcock used themes from psychoanalysis in his movies. Whether or not that is true, he did have some insights into the things that make people afraid or that create suspense. Things such as fear of heights (Rear Window), fear of falling (Vertigo), fear of failure (Strangers on a Train), fear of police (The Wrong Man), fear of birds (The Birds), fear of situations where escape is difficult or would that be fear of being cornered (Rear Window). I don’t know what kind of relationship Hitchcock had with his mother, but many of his movies involved characters, which had problems with or enormous attachment to their mothers. This always seems to add to the strange psychological makeup of the characters of intrigue, not always the villain but sometimes. Just analyzing the mind games and phobias in a Hitchcock movie could take a lifetime. But that’s what makes them so great; so timeless and so classic.
This is such a classic movie and Grace Kelly looks so great in that evening dress, you simply must buy this DVD to have in your own library. Even when you know what is going to happen next, you will find yourself on the edge of your seat every time.
Mall WatchersClick thumbnail to view full-size
This movie goes right to the heart of what people are all about. We are generally busybodies, aren’t we? I know you were probably taught like me, not to stare at people, not to eavesdrop because it’s rude, not to judge people without knowing them, but that doesn’t stop us, does it? We do tend to be “people watchers” for the most part. I went to the mall recently with a friend and as we walked up and down the halls my friend was more interested in the people than the store windows. She told me she often goes to the mall to people watch. To see what people are wearing, how they treat their children when they don’t think anyone is watching, how they treat each other, how they eat/nibble while walking, or even try to steal right there in front of everyone. She isn’t alone. We all do it to one degree or another. I remember when I was much younger than I couldn’t sit in the back of the church. I just couldn’t concentrate on what the preacher was trying to say because from the back there were so many people to watch and notice instead of hearing the message. I always make myself sit in the front if I want to get anything at all out of the message presented.
So here we have Jimmy Stewart with nothing else better to do but watch the people in the apartments across the court from him. It was better than a movie for him because it went on 24-7. As a photographer, he had a high power zoom lens and a pair of binoculars with which to see it all almost anonymously. That is until the murder caught him watching… then there was trouble.
People at the Mall
What do you think of the "neighbors" speech in Rear Window? Do you think neighbors are supposed to look out for each other?
In Love With the '50s
I love the '50s era, the diners, the duck-tails, the poodle skirts, the music, the cars. It is all a wonderful time when things and life were simple and, well, cleaner. Plus it has the added charm of being the decade I was born. Just saying. I fell in love with Richie on Happy Days and who didn't want to be a Cunningham? I know all the lyrics to the Laverne and Shirley theme as well as the lyrics to Grease. I was right there with Marty McFly in Back to the Future. I actually love black and white movies for the artistry of it. My father was very resistant to getting a color TV (because of the cost I think) until all the programs were being aired in color and he finally couldn't take the suspense any longer. He just had to see what Miss Kitty from Gunsmoke looked like in color. He wasn't disappointed!
I have the added pleasure of being married to a wonderful man who actually worked on the Laverne and Shirley and Happy Days set (behind the scenes) and who owns a pair of boots once belonging to the Fonz. When the Fonz blew on his fist and rapped the jukebox, someone had to be backstage making the music come on. Someone had to do the magic. How many people can say they have Fonzie's boots in their closet?
I have old episodes of Life with Elizabeth with Betty White on CD (what a tiny waist that woman had) and Ivy Halls with Ronald Coleman (what a voice that man had) on CD. The old episodes of "What's My Line?" and "Queen for a Day" give me thrills. And who could forget the "$64,000 Question" as well as the "You Bet Your Life" Chrysler-Plymouth show with Groucho Marx (what a funny man)? So it makes perfect sense I would love Alfred Hitchcock movies too.