A photojournalist incapacitated by a broken leg entertains himself by watching the daily coming and goings of his neighbours, but mounting circumstantial evidence leads him to suspect that one of them has committed a grisly murder.
Hitchcock was always the consummate voyeur and in Rear Window he draws us into the realm of the Peeping Tom as he teases and titillates with the smallest of clues and half-overheard conversations as helpless hero James Stewart pieces together a potential crime that could just as easily be an innocent misunderstanding. It’s quite interesting how Stewart is immobile during the entire film and as such can be seen as one of the most “impotent” heroes you’ll ever see. In fact he could be accused of emotionally blackmailing his would-be fiancee into taking all the risks on his behalf because of his stated inability to respect anyone incapable of withstanding hardship and danger. It’s a fascinating snapshot of the America of the past as we see the everyday lives of ordinary folk as well as a taut and suspenseful thriller in which Hitchcock expertly cranks up the tension to breaking point.
Classic film making and yet another example of how a great story expertly told never ages.