Rear Window Review from Blu-ray.com

Reviewed by Kenneth Brown (All credit goes to him)
Source: blu-ray.com

An injured photographer becomes obsessed with watching his neighbors, one of whom might be a killer…

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Rear Window might just be a perfect film. If not a perfect film, then perfect Hitchcock. It’s impossible to draw a line between the mystery and the suspense, the story and the setting, or the performances and John Michael Hayes’ dialogue. A melting pot of paranoia, isolation and the very real threat of murder most foul, it teases and toys, accelerates and tiptoes, delights and surprises, shocks and scares. It’s Hitchcock at his peak. Hitchcock at his most playful. Hitchcock at his most devious. Grace Kelly’s search of Raymond Burr’s apartment is torture, even some sixty years after the fact; torture made all the more unbearable with the knowledge that Jimmy Stewart’s wheelchair-bound L.B. Jeffries is helpless to do much of anything as Burr’s suspected murderer, Lars Thorwald, returns and catches Kelly’s Lisa in the act. Even then, his guilt or innocence is uncertain. Even then, we’re forced to ask if Jeffries has it all wrong. The single, shocking image that follows shortly after — of Thorwald craning his neck and staring directly at Jeffries — is as brilliant a shot and sequence as any Hitchcock committed to film. It’s also a testament to his prowess and punch as a filmmaker, not to mention his keen sense of pacing, plotting and mounting unease. The moment Thorwald makes eye contact with the audience, who’s unwittingly become entangled in the story, the director’s trap is sprung. All the distraction, all the pleasantries, all the characters, all the suspicion, all the suspense… all to form an inseparable bond between viewer and voyeur. Jeffries almost ceases to exist. It’s us sitting in that apartment, watching as the door to our apartment swings open and a hulking madman steps through. Rear Window is without a doubt one of Hitchcock’s best and an undisputed masterwork that belongs in any box set that dares call itself a Masterpiece Collection.

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Rear Window Blu-ray Movie, Special Features and Extras

-Audio Commentary: Author John Farwell (“Hitchcock’s Rear Window: The Well-Made Film”) provides a somewhat dry but undeniably detailed analysis of Rear Window, without so much as missing a shot or scene.

-Rear Window Ethics: Remembering and Restoring a Hitchcock Classic (SD, 55 minutes): From short story to screenplay to Hitchcock masterpiece, track the development, casting, production, performances, style and, eventually, the restoration of Rear Window.

-Masters of Cinema (SD, 34 minutes): A lengthy “Masters of Cinema” interview with Hitchcock that, despite its age, is one of the must-see extras in the 15-disc Masterpiece Collection set.

-A Conversation with Screenwriter John Michael Hayes (SD, 13 minutes): Hayes covers a lot of ground, touching on his first meeting with Hitchcock, his first days on the job, his take on the director, his impressions of Stewart and Kelly, and more.

-Pure Cinema: Through the Eyes of the Master (SD, 25 minutes): An in-depth, career-spanning look at Hitchcock’s filmmaking prowess, desires as a director, contributions to cinema, and influence on generations of filmmakers that followed. “Pure Cinema” doesn’t focus on Rear Window, but it’s no less welcome.

-Breaking Barriers: The Sound of Hitchcock (SD, 24 minutes): Hitchcock had a penchant for unforgettable visuals, but his meticulous mastery of sound was just as crucial to the impact, suspense, dread and mood of his films.

-Hitchcock-Truffaut Interview Excerpts (SD, 16 minutes): Excerpts from filmmaker Francois Truffaut’s 1962 interview sessions with Hitchcock (for his book, the aptly titled “Hitchcock”) are set to a montage of clips and stills from the film.

-Production Photographs (SD, 3 minutes): Movie posters, vintage ads and production photos.

-Theatrical and Re-Release Trailers (HD, 9 minutes)

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