Rear Window is the proof a great idea can make a great movie but also asks for great surroundings. What I mean is that, although the succeeding of this movie lies on an excellent idea, that I will be developing below, it wouldn’t be such a classic if the acting, directing and all setting weren’t as great.
I don’t need to tell you how James Stewart and Grace Kelly are amazing or how Alfred Hitchcock has a way of directing and filming that is so ahead of his times that even today, It’s blowing minds away. So, what I’m going to do today is explain why I think this particular film is better than any other on that genre.
Having a detective movie behind closed doors is not that original. Having a reporter doing all the investigation is even dull. Usually, the crime takes place in one unique place while a reporter coincidentally gets information that makes him suspicious. Then, the tension goes up as the reporter gets closer to the crime scene in his investigation, and put his own life at risk. What Hitchcock did was taking the same first elements and then, taking it all upside-down.
He managed somehow to have closed doors on the investigation and have the crime getting closer to the reporter (James Stewart). Usually when a film is “in camera”, all the actual cameras are pointing at the room, not looking everywhere but in the room. Here, we are the one locked in that one room alongside our reporter and the action of the movie takes place everywhere else.
Never on any other closed doors story, a tension got so palpable with all the action taking place outside the room the doors are closed to. Here, it’s the feeling to be trapped in this room, unable to be part of the action, that gives so much tension to the pitch. And, because being locked in the room didn’t seem enough of an impediment, Hitchcock goes further and puts us (excuse my next words) in a bloody wheelchair!