Top 100 Movies Rear Window

Top 100 Movies Rear Window
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I think with our last Top 100 movies post – Jurassic Park post – we just finished the 50th post in the Top 100 list… which officially means? We are on the downhill slide from here on out baby! I’ve learned so much forcing myself to watch these Top 100 movies as determined by this Hollywood Reporter list. There have been a ton of eye-opening experiences as I’ve watched all these movies I wouldn’t have watched previously. (Top surprise so far?? I think would that trophy would go to Taxi Driver… man, that movie was a revelation.)

But this week? Another movie I know all about….. AND YET!!! Have never seen it. Yes, I’m aware that the 1954 thriller was directed by Alfred Hitchcock. And yes, I’m aware that I’m a movie fanatic. Doesn’t mean I’ve seen them all. So I’ve been looking forward to watching this one. Let’s hit play, shall we?

Rear Window Movie Walkthrough

Before we start talking through this movie, I have to say just how optimistically quaint this movie is. In absolutely every respect. And the modern answer to this movie? Bodies Bodies Bodies. They are the two PERFECT back to back watches. First Rear Window – then Bodies Bodies Bodies. Trust me on this one. Alright – so, let’s get to our walk-through of this movie, shall we?

The movie opens with Jeff Jefferies (played by Jimmy Stewart), a photojournalist who is confined to a wheelchair in his apartment due to a broken leg. He spends his days observing his neighbors through his rear window, with nothing to do but watch their lives unfold. Jeff becomes particularly interested in the lives of his neighbors across the courtyard. He observes their daily routines and invents backstories for them based on his observations. His girlfriend, Lisa Fremont (played by Grace Kelly), visits him regularly but is frustrated by his obsession with the neighbors.

Jeff becomes increasingly convinced that one of his neighbors, Lars Thorwald (played by Raymond Burr), has murdered his wife. He notices Thorwald behaving strangely and becomes convinced that he has seen him disposing of his wife’s body. (Trunks, saws, knives, more trips with suitcases and more trunks… you get the idea.) Jeff shares his suspicions with Lisa and his nurse, Stella (played by Thelma Ritter), but they are obviously very skeptical.

Despite his confinement, Jeff decides to investigate Thorwald’s activities further. He enlists the help of Stella and Lisa to gather evidence after a neighbor’s dog turns up dead. The duo dig up the dog to learn more. Lisa then, inexplicably, climbs up and into Thorwald’s apartment in an attempt to get more evidence. But ultimately ends up arrested by the police herself. Lisa, singling back to Jeff about Thorwald’s wife, is caught by Thorwald who witnessed her gesturing.

When Lisa is taken down to the police station, Stella goes to bail her out. Leaving Jeff all alone, Thorwald heads over to Jeff’s apartment to finally confront the meddling troublesome individual. Thorwald ends up tossing Jeff out the window – he falls to the ground, breaking his other leg. Meanwhile, Thorwald confesses to police that he in fact did murder his wife. Jeff’s suspicions are vindicated, and he is able to return to his normal life of watching out his windows as the various neighbor’s lives are miraculously restored.

Can I just get this off my chest? Our Jeff? He needs professional help. Not only does he need help, he’s a complete creeper! And the only way that he isn’t the one that isn’t assisted to his own padded cell, is this EXACT ending. If Thorwald had played it more cool, there’s no way he’s busted.

Personal Thoughts on Rear Window

It’s a great movie for a bygone era. Utterly simplistic though by today’s standards. It comes from the mind of one of the greatest directors to craft stories on the silver screen, and yet, it definitely is an idea that was built for an audience that couldn’t imagine real evil on a theater screen. Or, maybe it’s better said that it’s a story crafted for a more innocent audience. We, as a collective audience have, together, lived through the unified horrors of Se7en, Midsommar, and American Psycho. I have always wondered what showing a movie like one of those to an audience from the 50’s would do to their minds. I think there is a book in there somewhere – entitled, Unifying Trauma Espoused via the Silver Screen.

Regardless, it’s a painfully obvious movie today. But stylistically was a joy to watch. Not withstanding the obvious contrivances of the studio lot the film was shot on. Grace Kelly was a beauty. And the acting was simple enough. Truth be told, I don’t think the film holds up as well as others on this list of the Top 100. But yes, I don’t disagree with its placement on the list. It is masterfully crafted.

Interested in reading more of my Top 100 movies of all time posts? You can find them all right here.

Edited by: CY