Part of the 100 Greatest Movies I’ve Ever Seen list.
dir. Alfred Hitchcock (1954) scr. John Michael Hayes based on the short story “It Had to Be Murder” by Cornell Woolrich cin. Robert Burks with James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey, Thelma Ritter, Raymond Burr
In 100 words: The ultimate movie about watching movies. A literal male gaze. A portrait of the cycles of marriage. An astute study of voyeurism. A nonstop cinematic lesson in suspense. Pop culture landmark. Window is a lot of things at the same time, managing to spin all of its plates without worry of any falling apart. Hitchcock’s immaculate construction allows the audience to know only what they see, using Stewart as a vehicle for our curiosity but also to indulge or maybe even judge us in our fascination with looking. All without leaving that one apartment room. Now that’s a neat trick.
Other Movies for Context: Well, Alfred Hitchcock certainly has, in my mind, one of five most amazing oeuvre by a director. North by Northwest (1959) and Vertigo (1958) are the two that come to mind and that I associate with the most when I think of Rear Window. Their energies feel similar, even if their constructions are different. Love Hitch, he’ll show up once more on this list with an even more suspenseful and incredible picture.