Rear Window

Year: 1954
Country: USA
Running time: 114 mins
Director/Producer: Alfred Hitchcock
Screenplay: John Michael Hayes.
Based on a story by Cornell Woolrich
Photography: Robert Burks
Editor: George Tomasini
Sound: John Cope, Harry Lindgren
Art directors: Joseph MacMillan Johnson, Hal Pereira
Costumes: Edith Head
Music: Franz Waxman

L.B. ‘Jeff’ Jefferies: James Stewart
Lisa Carol Fremont: Grace Kelly
Lieutenant Thomas J. Doyle: Wendell Corey
Mr Lars Thorwald: Raymond Burr
Stella: Thelma Ritter
Miss Lonelyheart: Judith Evelyn
“A new 35mm restoration of Rear Window is as good a reason as any to re-release Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 masterpiece of voyeurism. Images of L.B. ‘Jeff’ Jefferies (James Stewart), the wheelchair-bound news photographer who escapes the boredom of a broken leg and the demands for intimacy by a marriage-minded girlfriend (Grace Kelly) by spying on his neighbours, may already feel warmly familiar. But visual details – the newly vibrant blood-red intensity of the sunset, the striking Nile green of Miss Lonelyheart’s dress, the bandbox freshness of Kelly’s costumes by Edith Head – give the movie a sharpness that underscores the whole subtext of moviegoers as voyeurs, too.

“‘We’ve become a race of Peeping Toms,’ says the shut-in’s extremely practical nurse, Stella (Thelma Ritter, her every line a chili pepper of stinging wisdom), as she tries to straighten out Jeff’s priorities as crisply as she slaps on liniment during a rubdown… As you sit in the dark watching Rear Window (restored by Robert A. Harris and James C. Katz, who also revivified Vertigo), its stark suggestions and implications come through with flying colors.” — Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly, 14/1/00

“At first glance, it wouldn’t have appeared that Rear Window was a prime candidate for the full-blown restoration that is the specialty of the team of Robert A. Harris and James C. Katz… But despite the fact that the perennially successful Rear Window had been reissued several times since its initial release, most recently in 1984, first-rate prints did not exist, and Harris and Katz found that the original camera negative had so deteriorated thanks to overprinting and poor storage that it could no longer be used for making new prints – hence the need for a from-scratch effort to create a restoration negative. A bonus on this project is that it is the first restoration to use Technicolor’s recently revived dye transfer printing process, phased out in 1974 but now back to assure permanent retention of a film’s precise color scheme.” — Todd McCarthy, Variety, 17/1/00