Rear Window (1954) - Rotten Tomatoes

Rear Window1954

Rear Window (1954)



Critic Consensus: Hitchcock exerted full potential of suspense in this masterpiece.

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Movie Info

Laid up with a broken leg, photojournalist L.B. Jeffries (James Stewart) is confined to his tiny, sweltering courtyard apartment. To pass the time between visits from his nurse (Thelma Ritter) and his fashion model girlfriend Lisa (Grace Kelly), the binocular-wielding Jeffries stares through the rear window of his apartment at the goings-on in the other apartments around his courtyard. As he watches his neighbors, he assigns them such roles and character names as "Miss Torso" (Georgine Darcy), a professional dancer with a healthy social life or "Miss Lonelyhearts" (Judith Evelyn), a middle-aged woman who entertains nonexistent gentlemen callers. Of particular interest is seemingly mild-mannered travelling salesman Lars Thorwald (Raymond Burr), who is saddled with a nagging, invalid wife. One afternoon, Thorwald pulls down his window shade, and his wife's incessant bray comes to a sudden halt. Out of boredom, Jeffries casually concocts a scenario in which Thorwald has murdered his wife and disposed of the body in gruesome fashion. Trouble is, Jeffries' musings just might happen to be the truth. One of Alfred Hitchcock's very best efforts, Rear Window is a crackling suspense film that also ranks with Michael Powell's Peeping Tom (1960) as one of the movies' most trenchant dissections of voyeurism. As in most Hitchcock films, the protagonist is a seemingly ordinary man who gets himself in trouble for his secret desires. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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James Stewart
as L.B. "Jeff" Jefferies
Grace Kelly
as Lisa Carol Fremont
Wendell Corey
as Lieutenant Thomas J. Doyle
Raymond Burr
as Mr. Lars Thorwald
Judith Evelyn
as Miss Lonelyheart
Georgine Darcy
as Miss Torso
Irene Winston
as Mrs. Thorwald
Sara Berner
as Woman on Fire Escape
Frank Cady
as Fire Escape Man
Jesslyn Fax
as Miss Hearing Aid
Rand Harper
as Honeymooner
Marla English
as Party Girl
Kathryn Grant
as Party Girl
Alan Lee
as Landlord
Anthony Warde
as Detective
Bennie Bartlett
as Miss Torso's Friend
Barbara Bailey
as Choreographer
Bess Flowers
as Woman with Poodle
Fred Graham
as Stunt Detective (uncredited)
Ralph Smiley
as Carl the Waiter
Harry Landers
as Young Man
Mike Mahoney
as Policeman
Len Hendry
as Policeman
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News & Interviews for Rear Window

Critic Reviews for Rear Window

All Critics (72) | Top Critics (19)

The boorish but fascinating pastime of peeking into other people's homes -- a thing that New York apartment dwellers have a slight disposition to do -- is used by Director Alfred Hitchcock to impel a tense and exciting exercise.

April 16, 2020 | Full Review…

It's one of Alfred Hitchcock's inspired audience-participation films: watching it, you feel titillated, horrified, and, ultimately, purged.

March 5, 2012 | Full Review…

Just possibly the second most entertaining picture (after The 39 Steps) ever made by Alfred Hitchcock.

April 20, 2009 | Full Review…

Of all Hitchcock's films, this is the one which most reveals the man.

February 9, 2006 | Full Review…

The deliciousness of watching the film as it's intended to be seen is that the big screen gives Rear Window back its claustrophobia.

July 21, 2005 | Full Review…

Don't resist the urge -- steal a peek at it now, and be reminded why Hitchcock is still without equal in the clammy thrills department.

May 28, 2004 | Rating: 4/4

Audience Reviews for Rear Window

Definitely a film intended to digest w/o much thought, a sensation thrill ride, as a laid-up-due-to-injury photographer realizes his neighbor may have killed his wife. Start thinking and questions bubble up on their own: like why is a 20 year old babe with a guy twice her age? A guy who spends his time eyeballing his we-keep-our-windows-open neighbors, "but we don't notice a guy with binoculars watching us." And there are other problems, but ignor the obvious snafus and the suspense will electrify.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

Rear Window is regularly listed with the greatest movies ever made. Certainly one of Hitchcock's finest. In addition to the exceptional chemistry between star James Stewart and a radiant Grace Kelly , there's Raymond Burr as salesman Lars Thorwald with his hair dyed white to make him appear older. When his invalid wife disappears, Jeff suspects foul play might be involved. The setting is a fascinating tableau. Virtually the entire feature is shot from Jeff's gaze looking out into the open courtyard into the many windows of his neighbors. Each residence is a set within itself, fully furnished. With few exceptions, the camera never leaves the confinement of Stewart's apartment. The setting can get a bit claustrophobic. Nevertheless it's a brilliantly assembled theatrical piece right down to the heart-pounding climax . Hitchcock's brilliance as a director has never been questioned and with Rear Window, his abilities as a visual storyteller remain unparalleled.

Mark Hobin
Mark Hobin

Super Reviewer

Masterful Hitchcock motion picture; filled with mystery, humor, suspense and a fluid direction. Rear Window is a classic film led by James Stewart and comprised of plenty of homages to American cinema in the mid-1900s. 4/5

Eugene Bernabe
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer

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