Rear Window

1954

Rear Window

Critics Consensus

Hitchcock exerted full potential of suspense in this masterpiece.

100%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 65
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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 professional dancer with a healthy social life or "Miss Lonelyhearts" (Judith Evelyn), a middle-aged woman who entertains nonexistent gentlemen callers. Of particular interest is seemingly mild-mannered travelling salesman Lars Thorwald (Raymond Burr), who is saddled with a nagging, invalid wife. One afternoon, Thorwald pulls down his window shade, and his wife's incessant bray comes to a sudden halt. Out of boredom, Jeffries casually concocts a scenario in which Thorwald has murdered his wife and disposed of the body in gruesome fashion. Trouble is, Jeffries' musings just might happen to be the truth. One of Alfred Hitchcock's very best efforts, Rear Window is a crackling suspense film that also ranks with Michael Powell's Peeping Tom (1960) as one of the movies' most trenchant dissections of voyeurism. As in most Hitchcock films, the protagonist is a seemingly ordinary man who gets himself in trouble for his secret desires. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Cast

Grace Kelly
as Lisa Carol Fremont
Wendell Corey
as Lieutenant Thomas J. Doyle
Raymond Burr
as Mr. Lars Thorwald
Judith Evelyn
as Miss Lonelyheart
Georgine Darcy
as Miss Torso
Irene Winston
as Mrs. Thorwald
Sara Berner
as Woman on Fire Escape
Frank Cady
as Fire Escape Man
Jesslyn Fax
as Miss Hearing Aid
Rand Harper
as Honeymooner
Marla English
as Party Girl
Kathryn Grant
as Party Girl
Alan Lee
as Landlord
Anthony Warde
as Detective
Bennie Bartlett
as Miss Torso's Friend
Barbara Bailey
as Choreographer
Bess Flowers
as Woman with Poodle
Fred Graham
as Stunt Detective (uncredited)
Ralph Smiley
as Carl the Waiter
Harry Landers
as Young Man
Mike Mahoney
as Policeman
Len Hendry
as Policeman
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News & Interviews for Rear Window

Critic Reviews for Rear Window

All Critics (65) | Top Critics (18)

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

    Mar 5, 2012
  • Just possibly the second most entertaining picture (after The 39 Steps) ever made by Alfred Hitchcock.

    Apr 20, 2009 | Full Review…
    TIME Magazine
    Top Critic
  • Of all Hitchcock's films, this is the one which most reveals the man.

    Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top 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.

    Jul 21, 2005
  • 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 | Rating: 4/4
  • Restored to its original Technicolor grandeur!

    Jan 1, 2000

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