Celebrating Great Films

Monday, May 22, 2006

Rear Window

Rear Window#14 at time of writing.

I recently realised that I have read and watched hundreds of Hitchcock snippets, but - shamefully - never have I sat through an entire film. And there are no less than nine of his films in the IMDb top 250 list.

So I allowed myself a minor indulgence and bought a Hitchcock box set. OK, it was more than a minor indulgence - it's a large box set. 34 films.

This film is the highest rated Hitchcock on IMDb, and often considered his best and most thrilling picture. So I am told.

It strikes me as the ultimate movie for studying in film school. It could be analysed to death. It's a fascinating idea, light-heartedly executed, but many-layered. But it feels like a film for film students. At best, it's intriguing. At worst, it plods.

James Stewart's character is amusing, Grace Kelly's is luminous, and the insurance company nurse is hilarious. The idea is wonderful. The 1950's filmmaking is nostalgic, gentle and naive. I enjoyed it, but I don't think this movie would have made it into my own personal top 250.

Yet IMDb users rate it as the fourteenth best film of all time! I must be missing something...

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