From the Library: Rear Window

Rear WindowAlison Trautmann

The library at Marywood sometimes seems like a large donut shaped labyrinth. You walk in circles in the hope that you just MIGHT find an exit. However, one of the easiest things to find in the library is a good movie to watch. Just walk to the left as you enter on the top and the movies are right there. As it is October, a great movie to check out would be Alfred Hitchcock’s superb classic, Rear Window.

L. B. Jeffries (‘Jeff’), played to perfection by James Stewart, is stuck in a wheelchair for weeks after breaking his leg. Having nothing better to do and incapable of going anywhere, he spends most of his time looking out the window at his neighbors. He sees their comings and goings and makes sure to keep an eye on the beautiful girl next door to the chagrin of his girlfriend, Lisa Freemont (Grace Kelly). However, one night the story takes a frightful turn, Jeffries thinks he is witness to a murder that took place right across the courtyard from his room. Even with the help of his friends, Jeffries is unable to turn up any clues to prove that the murder took place. Is he imagining things or did the murder actually happen?

In order to film the movie, Hitchcock had a single set constructed to look like an apartment building surrounding a courtyard. Throughout the film, all of the scenes except for a few shots originate from Jefferies’ apartment. There is no “official soundtrack” for Rear Window. If you pay attention, all of the music and sound in the film comes from realistic sources within the film’s world except for the first few shots. One of the apartment sections actually had electricity and running water which led Georgine Darcy to actually “live” in her apartment during takes. During the shoot, Alfred Hitchcock was only ever in the apartment of Jeffries so the actors in other apartments wore earpieces so they could hear his directions.

Rear Window is a wonderful nail-biter for Halloween from the master of suspense. But don’t take my word for it; go discover the perfection of Rear Window for yourself.

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