Sitting in a darkened room with others, secretly peering into someone else's life as it's being played out in front of you. Identifying with the characters and drawing conclusions and emotions from the decisions and situations the characters find themselves in and how those lessons might have some application in your own life, Institutionalized Voyeurism!
Laid up with a broken leg during the height of a 90 degree summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L.B. (Jeff) Jeffries (Jimmy Stewart) enters his last week of home confinement, bored and anxious. So we sit in a darkened room watching someone else sitting in a darkened room watching someone else's life. Gadzooks, it's like looking in a mirror and seeing someone else lookingTo read one of these over intellectualized critiques just click now ...Movie Classics in a mirror! My brain is having a melt-down! No wonder the psychoanalysts have been picking this movie apart for years. And all the new words I've learned just from reading up about it!
The view from The Rear Window
This has got to be one of the most over analyzed films in history. Personally, I just thought the story spun a damn good yarn, a murder mystery. Apparently it runs much deeper and has tapped into some pretty dark stuff requiring anyone with a bunch of letters after their name to offer up an over intellectualized opinion.
Here's a sample....
HUH? I know what all the words mean but when I string them together a short circuit occurs in my brain and all I hear is static. Meanwhile back at the apartment Jeff has been spending his days sitting in a wheelchair with a broken leg, watching his neighbors through the rear window of his two-room apartment. Although Stella the nurse (Thelma Ritter) who drops by to massage his back and prepare his meals, disapproves of his “peeping” and counsels him to marry his charming & beautiful girlfriend, model Lisa Carol Fremont (Grace Kelly), Jeff insists that Lisa is too “perfect” and refined for his adventurous lifestyle.
This is where the Director begins to deceptively lure the viewer into the "Psychology" of the film. Here on the right is some excellent reading I've happened across while researching this film, if you follow this sort of thing closely.
As Jeff looks out the rear window of his apartment he sees all the possible outcomes of any marriage decision he may make being played out in front of him through the windows of his neighbors. And so the cast of characters begins to take shape...
Later, after watching a pair of amorous newlyweds moving into one of the buildings next to his, Jeff is visited by his main squeeze, Lisa the beautiful. She has brought Jeff a lavish restaurant meal (she doesn't cook much), suggesting Jeff give up his hard hitting globe-trotting bachelor ways and become a "fashion photographer", Jeff feels the noose tightening. Lisa confronts Jeff about their relationship, challenging his perception their romance is doomed because of their different lifestyles.
Jeff, however, insists the pampered Lisa would never be happy enduring hardships in exotic locales and refuses to consider changing his ways. Before leaving, Lisa delivers an ultimatum and announces that she cannot continue seeing him without a firm marriage commitment, then promises to return the next night and give him a 'preview' of coming attractions.
Just about everyone on earth has at least a little voyeurism and has seen this movie at least once and there are literally thousands of 'reviews' you may read just by typing the title into your favorite search engine so I won't belabor the plot description here. Released in 1954 by Paramount Pictures, this is a personal favorite. Jimmy Stewart may appear a bit bland in the passion department, but I always suspected Jimmy and Miss Torso might have their own 'thing' going on (She was very attractive and gave a stellar performance). I remember seeing her in the 'Peter Gunn' TV series. 'Dottie' was played by Miss Georgine Darcy, she passed away in 2004.
Thelma Ritter is a familiar face for any who watch old movies, often appearing in supporting roles as the down to earth matronly type. Although I always wondered about 'Happy Endings' in that massage scene (Too Crass?). She did add quite a bit to the building tension by following Lars.
Wendell Corey had number three billing in this production as Detective Lieutenant Thomas J. Doyle and I haven't said too much about his performance. For some reason, strictly my own opinion, I wasn't impressed. Having always liked Wendell in other venues I felt his effort here lacking somehow (Just my opinion). Click the Pic just below to review his filmography at IMDB.
Grace Kelly and Wendell Corey. (Click Pic Above)
Above - Rear Window recreated by Scarlett Johansson and Javier Bardem
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