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Rear Window (1954)

tomatometer

100

Average Rating: 8.9/10
Reviews Counted: 63
Fresh: 63 | Rotten: 0

Hitchcock exerted full potential of suspense in this masterpiece.

100

Average Rating: 8.7/10
Critic Reviews: 18
Fresh: 18 | Rotten: 0

Hitchcock exerted full potential of suspense in this masterpiece.

audience

95

liked it
Average Rating: 4.2/5
User Ratings: 145,587

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My Rating

Movie Info

Laid up with a broken leg, photojournalist L.B. Jeffries (James Stewart) is confined to his tiny, sweltering courtyard apartment. To pass the time between visits from his nurse (Thelma Ritter) and his fashion model girlfriend Lisa (Grace Kelly), the binocular-wielding Jeffries stares through the rear window of his apartment at the goings-on in the other apartments around his courtyard. As he watches his neighbors, he assigns them such roles and character names as "Miss Torso" (Georgine Darcy), a

PG,

Drama, Mystery & Suspense, Classics

John Michael Hayes

Mar 6, 2001

Paramount Pictures

Watch It Now

Cast

Latest News on Rear Window

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All Critics (68) | Top Critics (20) | Fresh (63) | Rotten (0) | DVD (23)

It's one of Alfred Hitchcock's inspired audience-participation films: watching it, you feel titillated, horrified, and, ultimately, purged.

March 5, 2012 Full Review Source: New Yorker
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Just possibly the second most entertaining picture (after The 39 Steps) ever made by Alfred Hitchcock.

April 20, 2009 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Of all Hitchcock's films, this is the one which most reveals the man.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The deliciousness of watching the film as it's intended to be seen is that the big screen gives Rear Window back its claustrophobia.

July 21, 2005 Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle
Houston Chronicle
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Don't resist the urge -- steal a peek at it now, and be reminded why Hitchcock is still without equal in the clammy thrills department.

May 28, 2004
San Jose Mercury News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Restored to its original Technicolor grandeur!

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Beneath pointed dialogue, perceptive character development and tense plot twists, the movie plays like a breakpoint in our journey towards complete voyeurism.

March 26, 2014 Full Review Source: Cinemaphile.org
Cinemaphile.org

Hitchcock masterpiece stars peeping Jimmy Stewart.

December 15, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

In this brilliant movie about watching the neighbors, Alfred Hitchcock turns the lens on his audience. "We have become a race of Peeping Toms," notes one character not only commenting on Jeff's obsessive voyeurism but also that of the cinematic spectator.

May 29, 2010 Full Review Source: AskMen.com

As close to 'perfect' as a film is likely to get.

September 2, 2009 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

a taut and (verbally) jaunty thriller

August 8, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinemania

...the film surely remains one of the most memorable and downright essential examples of the slow-burn thriller genre.

July 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

Essential and unmissable.

May 27, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

Hitchcock classic.

August 22, 2006 Full Review Source: Classic Film and Television
Classic Film and Television

An early ad summed up one of the film's enduring appeals: If you don't experience delicious terror, then pinch yourself--you're most probably dead.

October 10, 2005 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

Alfred Hitchcock's answer to why he makes films and perhaps his darkest one, both as a romance and as a thriller.

July 3, 2005 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

hitchcock perfection

April 18, 2005
Shadows on the Wall

In the hands of a lesser talent, this might have become a self-conscious stunt, but in Hitchcock's it has the tightly wound perfection of a flawless sonnet or sonata.

April 2, 2003 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor

Restored Hitchcock thriller charms, chills and sparkles.

November 7, 2002 Full Review Source: Netflix
Netflix

Never to be surpassed, never to be repeated.

August 12, 2002 Full Review Source: CinemaBlend.com
CinemaBlend.com

What a great movie.

July 12, 2002 Full Review Source: Window to the Movies
Window to the Movies

Audience Reviews for Rear Window

Alfred Hitchcock is a cinematic tour de force when it comes to crafting some of the most memorable and exhilarating suspense thrillers ever to grace the screen. Rear Window belongs among the directors finest works, this is a film that steadily builds up the tension, and what makes this such a unique film is the fact that Hitchcock uses a simple concept to tell a broader story. In turn, the suspense is much more solid and delivers a solid two hours of thrills. Jimmy Stewart delivers a great performance here, and he has great on-screen chemistry with Grace Kelly. This ranks among Hitchcock's best works, and the simplistic plot leaves so much to the imagination, which in turn makes for a truly memorable and taut filmgoing experience. Fans of suspense films will surely enjoy this film, and thought it's a slow film, it works well because the best films take its time to unfold, and that's the case with Rear Window. In terms of a classic thriller, Rear Window is one of the finest genre films to ever grave the screen, and it proved once again that Alfred Hitchcock was one of the finest directors to tackle the genre, and it cemented his stature as the master of suspense even further. Rear Window mixes different elements very well, with a detective aspect to the story, which adds more depth to the simple storyline. What makes the film great is that most of the action happens in one room, and to that effect, Hitchcock uses every trick he's got to create something that will entertain you from start to finish. Rear Window is a classic thriller, one that ranks among the finest ever filmed and it only is elevated by some magnetic performances from its cast that just make this picture standout even more. The film ranks among Alfred Hitchcock's finest works.
May 2, 2014
TheDudeLebowski65
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

[img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif[/img]
April 11, 2014
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

Hitchcock A.K.A. "The Master of Suspense". I came into this film thinking, "Let's see if he lives up to his title." Oh, he proved it to me, alright. What a craftsman.

Unfortunately, a lot of thrillers and horror films fall victim to audience's expectations: "When're the scares coming?"; "When's it gonna get exciting?". I feel bad for the directors; directors want to render an engaging film with character-building and narrative producing sequences, but because of these expectations, their films are quickly dismissed and concluded to be another failure. "Rear Window" is a blatant exception; this is a taut, near perfect film. Everything's directed with such finesse and precision from the intentional gradual build-up until the heart-pumping, tea kettle hissing, finale. Though it is a mystery and suspense film at heart, Hitchcock also delivers a character-driven, narrative-engaging thriller due to its ridiculously witty and razor sharp script. And because of its writing, no matter what may be happening in a scene, the film has a buttery-smooth flow that never dips. And once the climax hits, the tensions hitting all cylinders to bring an extremely immersive/claustrophobic experience. In other words, "Rear Window" is a love letter to suspense genre nerds.

All the way through, "Rear Window" is an engaging masterpiece that's filled with symbolism, an engaging narrative, precise editing, beautiful cinematography, and tension-brimming scenes. There's no doubt in my mind that Hitchcock has earned his title as "The Master of Suspense" due to movies like this. Almost hitting 60 years old, "Rear Window" is the perfect example of how a well-crafted narrative never shows its age.
September 17, 2012
Albert Kim

Super Reviewer

'Rear Window'. The master of suspense in perfect control of his craft, focusing the lens on a subject that has been taken to the extreme today, and will only go further; voyeurism.

"We've become a race of Peeping Toms" - Readers Digest, April 1939.

Watching people when they feel they're safe, alone, in the comforts of their home, where they can be themselves. It's a perverted concept. It's also a darn intriguing one. "Mind your own business" doesn't really work too well against the curiosity of human nature, especially when the concept has essentially been flipped on its head in today's world of oversharing every little aspect of your life. Imagine someone looking at a Facebook feed for hours on end every day. Oh, wait...

One scene later in the film when Ms. Lonely Heart enters her apartment with a new man, and Stewart and Kelly look on cheerfully, happy for the company she's received after her nights alone. She draws the blinds, a thought that occurred to her *just* in case someone might see the naughty direction the night was going on. They keep watching, and their happiness is shattered when the young man turns aggressive and is kicked out, leading to an even sadder Ms. LH. They take a moment to ponder what right they have to peer into the private moments of people, and are even considering laying off the case until we [oh yes, we're all part of it] hear that blood-curdling scream, sucked back in.

Compare all this to the external, public perception Grace Kelly's Lisa puts forward to win over Jeffries, all the way to what becomes an extremely sad end in my eyes; Lisa pretending to read a book on foreign travel, believing that Jeffries is awake, and switching over to Bazaar when she sees him dosing off. My mind went instantly to the public face everyone puts on every day, for increasing minutes, to appease the social networks that consume us.

All this and I haven't even talked about the utter charm of Jimmy Stewart, beauty of Grace Kelly, and mentioned once again the pace and direction of Hitchcock. We're all instantly part of the lives of everyone in that apartment facing the rear window, as the camera swoops and pans, giving us a snapshot across the day.

I enjoyed the little stories I was seeing, grew suspicious as Jeffries did, and had my hand covering my mouth, reeling back in my chair, cursing Jeffries for putting Lisa, Stella and ultimately himself in that situation.

Lucky we don't need to look outside a window when we're bored now. We have a million to look into from what you're reading this on.
September 17, 2012
c0up
c0up  

Super Reviewer

    1. L.B. Jeffries (Jeff): She's like a queen bee with her pick of the drones.
    2. Lisa Carol Fremont: I'd say she's doing a woman's hardest job: juggling wolves.
    – Submitted by Ursula N (22 months ago)
    1. L.B. Jeffries (Jeff): Who says I'm getting rid of it.
    – Submitted by Tim R (2 years ago)
    1. Stella the nurse: He better get that trunk out of there before it starts to leak.
    – Submitted by Dimitrisfl D (2 years ago)
    1. Stella the nurse: I can hear you now, 'Get out of my life, you wonderful woman. You're too good for me.'
    – Submitted by Lucas M (2 years ago)
    1. Lisa Carol Fremont: Why would Thorwald want to kill a little dog? Because it knew too much?
    – Submitted by Lucas M (2 years ago)
    1. Lisa Carol Fremont: Where does a man get inspiration to write a song like that?
    2. L.B. Jeffries (Jeff): He gets it from the landlady once a month.
    – Submitted by Laura M (3 years ago)
View all quotes (10)

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