Rear Window (1954)
My joint favourite Hitchcock film (the other being North By Northwest). This is just perfection. Jimmy Stewart, Grace Kelly and a cast of top class support flex their muscles through 2 hours of dramatic, mysterious, speculative bliss. If the apartment bound Jimmy Stewart isn’t enough as the action hungry photographer in search of adventure from his wheelchair, you have his girlfriend Grace Kelly, bringing pure class with some socialite sophistication. J.B. (Stewart) really is punching way above his weight. On top of that you’ve got Thelma Ritter as nurse Stella with the razor sharp wit threatening to steal every scene she graces. J.B. is seeking danger, missing his assignments having acquired a broken leg in the last one two months ago. He thinks he’s found it too, through his telephoto lens looking out of his rear window at a myriad of stories in every one of his neighbours apartments. He has an over active imagination, his paranoia growing at what he witnesses, much to the annoyance of Lisa (Kelly) who wants him to settle down and join her in respectable social circles. He draws you in though and Lisa too, who senses excitement as they find some much needed common ground and the conspiracy grows with each new snippet of information. It’s a breath of fresh air, as the dialogue drops and we watch the windows, picking up fragments of sound and snap shots of actions. Almost like silent film in places. This is Hitchcock at the top of his game, ramping up the tension as we near the flawless finale with the danger dialled up and a killer on the loose! Surely everyone has seen this film? But on the off chance you’ve not, stop what you’re doing and watch it right now.