My sister and I watched Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window dozens of times after school and even now, I can recite along with a good portion of the movie. Rear Window is where I first fell in love with Thelma Ritter. Don’t get me wrong, Jimmy Stewart is amazing and Grace Kelly is absolute perfection, but Thelma Ritter is something extra. Her character has a majority of the quotable dialogue and she delivers it with a natural ease that I had never seen before. I have sought out her other films because of Rear Window and have been lucky to experience them.
I think that this film may also be the spark that lit my fascination with the mid-century mid-Atlantic accent (or was it Desk Set?) that for the longest time I thought was only spoken on Hollywood sound stages until I heard Little Edie Beale explain her perfect costume for the day.
If you have not seen the bonus material on the DVD for Rear Window, it is an absolute must, it will make you appreciate the film even more.
Rear Window is a 1954 American suspense film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, written by John Michael Hayes and based on Cornell Woolrich‘s 1942 short story “It Had to Be Murder“. Originally released by Paramount Pictures, the film stars James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey, Thelma Ritter and Raymond Burr. It was screened at the 1954 Venice Film Festival.
The film is considered by many filmgoers, critics and scholars to be one of Hitchcock’s best. The film received four Academy Award nominations and was ranked #42 on AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movies list and #48 on the 10th-anniversary edition. In 1997, Rear Window was added to the United States National Film Registry.