January 6th: Just Looking

Rear Window (Alfred Hitchcock, 1954)
#16 in IMDB top 250.


What can I add, when watching a film that has been written about ad infinitum and will continue to be written about? What? Well, it’s quintessential Hitchcock really, encompassing his core themes of voyeurism and sexuality within a fantastically tight scenario. Now endlessly referenced in popular culture, Rear Window, unlike Soylent Green, lives up to its status of ongoing cultural importance – in this case the film is worth the credit. It’s filmed with real economy, no shot is wasted. You feel, from start to finish, as if you are in hands of a master manipulator. The pacing is tight and never allows for any boredom because the story develops with such a gentle ease. Jimmy Stewart manages another career defining performance (how many can one actor have!) and Grace Kelly is a blinding mix of New York glamour and adventurous muse. A classic in every sense.


Perhaps more importantly, why hadn’t I seen this before? Embarrassingly I can’t really explain, my Hitchcock experience is relatively threadbare for a student of the cinema. Many thanks then to Russo who has leant me the Alfred Hitchcock 14 film box-set, expect to see a few more reviews of the great mans movies and I hope to be able put forward some more salient and interesting points rather than just spunking praise all over the place like an excited terrier.

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