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Hitchcock exerted full potential of suspense in this masterpiece. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

A newspaper photographer with a broken leg passes time recuperating by observing his neighbors through his window. He sees what he believes to be a murder, and decides to solve the crime himself. With the help of his nurse and wife, he tries to catch the murderer without being killed himself.

Cast & Crew

James Stewart
L.B. "Jeff" Jefferies
Grace Kelly
Lisa Carol Fremont
Wendell Corey
Det. Lt. Thomas J. Doyle
Raymond Burr
Mr. Lars Thorwald
Judith Evelyn
Miss Lonelyheart
Ross Bagdasarian
Songwriter
Georgine Darcy
Miss Torso, the Ballet Dancer
Sara Berner
Woman on Fire Escape
Frank Cady
Man on Fire Escape
Jesslyn Fax
Miss Hearing Aid
Alan Lee
Newlyweds' landlord
Franz Waxman
Original Music
Robert Burks
Cinematographer
Hal Pereira
Art Direction
Sam Comer
Set Decoration
Ray Moyer
Set Decoration
Edith Head
Costume Designer
Wally Westmore
Makeup Supervisor
Herbert Coleman
Assistant Director
John Cope
Sound Recordist
Harry Lindgren
Sound Recordist
John P. Fulton
Special Photographic Effects
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News & Interviews for Rear Window

Critic Reviews for Rear Window

All Critics (122) | Top Critics (48) | Fresh (120) | Rotten (2)

  • It's a great movie and it's a chance in a million to see a passionate Grace Kelly... She had so much class it would be easy to overlook that underlying heat which Hitchcock let play in this film.

    June 8, 2021 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • Rear Window builds in a much more linear way, slowly creating tension bit by bit until the chilling final 10 minutes. It takes a long time to get there, but there is literally never a dull moment.

    June 8, 2021 | Full Review…
  • Sure, Vertigo is more personal, Psycho more bizarre, North by Northwest more thrilling. But Rear Window shows the Master of Suspense at his most spare, sophisticated and sinisterly clever a movie that is essentially about watching movies.

    June 8, 2021 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • The most densely allegorical of Alfred Hitchcock's masterpieces, moving from psychology to morality to formal concerns and finally to the theological. It is also Hitchcock's most innovative film in terms of narrative technique.

    June 8, 2021 | Full Review…
  • This is Alfred Hitchcock at his best -- a hugely entertaining, romantic and witty film with just a touch of mayhem.

    June 8, 2021 | Full Review…
  • Hitchcock condemned the invasive immorality of voyeurism without for a second denying its allure. In terms of art and entertainment, he knew better than any movie director that there's no percentage in minding your own business.

    June 8, 2021 | Full Review…
  • It's a great movie and it's a chance in a million to see a passionate Grace Kelly... She had so much class it would be easy to overlook that underlying heat which Hitchcock let play in this film.

    June 8, 2021 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • Rear Window builds in a much more linear way, slowly creating tension bit by bit until the chilling final 10 minutes. It takes a long time to get there, but there is literally never a dull moment.

    June 8, 2021 | Full Review…
  • Sure, Vertigo is more personal, Psycho more bizarre, North by Northwest more thrilling. But Rear Window shows the Master of Suspense at his most spare, sophisticated and sinisterly clever a movie that is essentially about watching movies.

    June 8, 2021 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • The most densely allegorical of Alfred Hitchcock's masterpieces, moving from psychology to morality to formal concerns and finally to the theological. It is also Hitchcock's most innovative film in terms of narrative technique.

    June 8, 2021 | Full Review…
  • Hitchcock has improved on most of his other efforts by giving a depth to the pure action line with the addition of a sincere lose element and a comedy line which runs like a warm current just under the surface of the tension.

    June 10, 2021 | Full Review…
  • It is taut, exact, well-patterned; technically bang on; never lets the attention go. Hitchcock is a director who has always revelled in contrasts; nothing delights him more than to smother his ice-cream with lashings of hot chocolate sauce.

    June 8, 2021 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Rear Window

  • Jul 28, 2018
    okay but too outmoded for my taste
    Ed K Super Reviewer
  • Dec 04, 2017
    Hitchcock's nod to voyeurism has a very simple premise: a photographer (Jimmy Stewart) is laid up with a broken leg, and finds entertainment in looking out his second floor window at his neighbors. The plot device is that during a heat wave, these neighbors leave their curtains drawn or shades up at all times, well, with the exception of a pair of newlyweds, whose implied activity (and its frequency) is a little joke Hitch gives us early on. He also dials up some eye candy circa 1954 with a dancer who regularly prances about her apartment. Stewart (slash Hitchcock) is a bit of perv, and he's kidded about that by his tough little nurse (Thelma Ritter) and glamorous girlfriend (Grace Kelly). Things get serious when he notices one of the neighbors (Raymond Burr) leaving his apartment multiple times in the wee hours of the night, and that the guy's wife has mysteriously disappeared. From then on, there is a tension to the film, as we're not sure what's going on, or if anything at all is going on, as Stewart's detective friend (Wendell Corey) is skeptical and provides some alternate explanations. You might say, c'mon, we're pretty sure something's going on, this is a Hitchcock film after all, but consider the uncomfortable light Stewart's character is placed in: spying on neighbors with binoculars and a gigantic zoom lens, suggesting that his friend break the law by searching the guy's apartment without a warrant, and even (gasp) having Kelly over for a little sleepover, despite only having a single bed. It would have been interesting had Stewart's character been darker, e.g. taking pictures of his neighbors, but that may be implied when he breaks out slides showing pictures of a flower garden in the courtyard to try to understand if anything has changed. Tension ratchets up considerably when Ritter and Kelly investigate on their own, but I won't spoil it. The fact that the action for the entire movies takes place in Stewart's apartment or from its vantage point is a pretty phenomenal achievement. Stewart turns in a strong performance, and Ritter's blunt speculations are effective in spurring our imaginations. I loved the scene which ends with Burr's cigarette glowing in the dark, one of the best moments in the film. The little stories playing out in the various apartments, including a woman who is lonely and depressed, provide interesting subplots. Overall the film is a little too constrained for me to consider it Hitchcock's best, and I could have used a little more darkness in the characters or the plot, but it's certainly very good, and a brilliant example of suspense not requiring fast-paced action or gore.
    Antonius B Super Reviewer
  • Mar 26, 2016
    Truly suspenseful and masterfully crafted, Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window is a masterpiece of thriller that is both parts witty and serious, clever and entertaining, and humor filled and fear inducing. James Stewart is amazing in the main role.
    Matthew M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 22, 2015
    Pretty well made but I disliked the ending and how it was handled so much that this brings the movie down significantly for me.
    Kyle M Super Reviewer

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