• Director: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Screenplay: John Michael Hayes
  • Story: Cornell Woolrich
  • Actors: James Stewart, Grace Kelly & Wendell Corey

Setting

  • Largest Set ever built at Paramount (1953)
  • Small apartment in Greenwich Village
  • 125 W Ninth Street (murders cannot take place at real addresses) so, Hitchcock & his crew choose a street address that was in actuality 125 Christopher Street (W Ninth is called Christopher Street after Sixth Avenue in Manhattan)
  • Manhattan Police Station is directly across from Jeff’s flat (in fiction & actuality) – explaining the quick response times
  • Claustrophobic Apartment (ignites tone for themes of intimacy & relationships)

Camera

  • POV from inside to outside
  • Limited to Jeff’s POV = subjective – limits our (audience) POV

Themes

  • Male/Female Relations
  • Indictment of Voyeurism
  • Moral Issues/Responsibilities of men taking photos/pictures
  • Romantic Intimacy

Central Plot Concern

  • The relationship between Lisa & Jeff

Characters

  • “Jeff” – Jefferies
  • Hitchcock’s alter ego? Hitch = Jeff?
  • Maturity & Commitment challenged by longtime girlfriend, Lisa (Grace Kelly)
  • Lisa & Stella become his ‘legs’
  • Peers at neighbors thru his window (with assorted lenses) – and leaves his own life unexamined

MacGuffin

  • The Supposed Murder

Psychoanalysis

  • Each of the apartment windows (square like a frame or screen) becomes a projection of Jeff’s fears and his own understandings of marriage and intimacy
  • Jeff watches his neighbors – something to view, but not ‘touch’ – this is a reflection of how he views/treats Lisa
  • This notion is exaggerated by casting Grace Kelly, someone that would be irresistible to most men
  • Lisa challenges Jeff’s need for supremacy – concerns that she would change him or his life – when he is challenged he is cruel to Lisa
  • Jeff as a photographer is an observer, not a participant – the photographer is like a movie-goer – busy looking outside himself, not within

Hitchcock

“Rear Window was structurally satisfactory because it is the epitome of the subjective treatment. A man looks; he sees; he reacts. Thus you construct a mental process. Rear Window is entirely a mental process, done by use of the visual.”

Stella

“What people ought to do is get outside their own house and look in for a change.”