Hitchcock’s masterpiece was released this day in 1954
“Rear Window” a movie for all times
Considered one of Alfred Hitchcock’s finest, “Rear Window” is one of the most influential movies of all time. The central subject of the movie is Voyeurism, which back then hadn’t been seriously introduced to the movies, it marked this way the beginning of the theme, influencing future directors such as Brian De Palma. Featuring James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Thelma Ritter (“All About Eve” and Raymond Burr (“Perry Manson”), it received and won several awards nominations including the Oscar for best director in 1955 but Hitchcock failed in getting it. The film was shot entirely at Paramount studios, which included an enormous indoor set to replicate a Greenwich Village courtyard. Set designers Hal Pereira and Joseph MacMillan Johnson spent six weeks building the extremely detailed and complex set, which ended up being the largest of its kind at Paramount. One of the unique features of the set was its massive drainage system, constructed in order to accommodate the rain sequence in the film. They also built the set around a highly-nuanced lighting system which was able to create natural-looking lighting effects for both the day and night scenes. Even though the address given in the film is 125 W. Ninth Street in New York’s Greenwich Village, the set was actually based on a real courtyard located at 125 Christopher Street. It’s the first mainstream movie to give a detailed attention to the soundtrack, by including some popular songs at the time such as Nat King Cole’s “Mona Lisa” and Dean Martin’s “That’s Amore”, that influenced the movie directors to start playing with the soundtrack in a more serious way in order to emphasize the scenes. “Rear Window” remains a movie that talks overall of a contemporary subject, with the quality stamp of Hitchcock. As Robin Wood puts it in his 1989 book Hitchcock’s Films Revisited, “the indulging of morbid curiosity and the consequences of that indulgence. Check the original trailer for the movie and some photos.
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