Rear Window


Rear Window

Critics Consensus

Hitchcock exerted full potential of suspense in this masterpiece.



Reviews Counted: 64

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 150,378


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 4.2/5

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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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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 (64) | 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…
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

Audience Reviews for Rear Window

Definitely a film intended to digest w/o much thought, a sensation thrill ride, as a laid-up-due-to-injury photographer realizes his neighbor may have killed his wife. Start thinking and questions bubble up on their own: like why is a 20 year old babe with a guy twice her age? A guy who spends his time eyeballing his we-keep-our-windows-open neighbors, "but we don't notice a guy with binoculars watching us." And there are other problems, but ignor the obvious snafus and the suspense will electrify.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

Rear Window is regularly listed with the greatest movies ever made. Certainly one of Hitchcock's finest. In addition to the exceptional chemistry between star James Stewart and a radiant Grace Kelly , there's Raymond Burr as salesman Lars Thorwald with his hair dyed white to make him appear older. When his invalid wife disappears, Jeff suspects foul play might be involved. The setting is a fascinating tableau. Virtually the entire feature is shot from Jeff's gaze looking out into the open courtyard into the many windows of his neighbors. Each residence is a set within itself, fully furnished. With few exceptions, the camera never leaves the confinement of Stewart's apartment. The setting can get a bit claustrophobic. Nevertheless it's a brilliantly assembled theatrical piece right down to the heart-pounding climax . Hitchcock's brilliance as a director has never been questioned and with Rear Window, his abilities as a visual storyteller remain unparalleled.

Mark Hobin
Mark Hobin

Super Reviewer

Masterful Hitchcock motion picture; filled with mystery, humor, suspense and a fluid direction. Rear Window is a classic film led by James Stewart and comprised of plenty of homages to American cinema in the mid-1900s. 4/5

Eugene Bernabe
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer

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.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

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