VIVIAN ADANNAYA OKORIE
LECTURER GORAL ERINC YILMAZ ERCAN
16TH DEC. 2017
THE REAR WINDOW 1954
James Stewart, Jeff has been stuck in a wheelchair in his courtyard apartment after breaking his leg on a racetrack to get an action shot. Jeff wears a complete leg cast that is basically slowing down his lifestyle. Although , one of the most difficult thing for Jeff is not the fact that he was held down in his wheelchair but also by his good looking girlfriend and a fashion editor. Grace Kelly is pretty, gorgeous, amazing and financially comfortable, she’s caring, loving and she can’t get her hands off Jeff.
It’s a hot summer and the jeffs neighbor in the courtyard behind his place always open their windows for a neighbor who’s in an intimate terms with a long-range lens and who puts his nose into interesting situations. So he starts watching his neighbors through the window from the sexy miss Torso to the Crotchety couple who sleeps every night on the escape to cool off .
There is also a lady whose job is to entertains the imaginary gentlemen of the neighborhood, and a salesman, Thorward who is (Raymond Burr) , he got married to a lazy woman who is always in bed.
One night Jeffries in his apartment hears a woman screaming aloud in another apartment through the window, he also sees Thorward repeatedly taking trips in and out of the apartment in the middle of the night, carrying his brief case, walking on and off the house, Jeff suspiciously thinks that Thorward have murdered the miss who sleeps stack in bed every time . Jeff takes out his hug telephoto lens from his cupboard and starts a spying and looking at the guy to see what is actually going on in the next apartment, he becomes more obsessed immediately his visitors a girlfriend, nurse, Stella, Lisa get involved in the situation. Jeff immediately calls his police friend Det. Lt. Doyle to explain the suspicious moving that has been going on in the courtyard apartment and ask him to make an investigation but instead his police friend isn’t pleased by the “evidence” provided by his Jeff. More evidence keeps coming up which makes it impossible for Jeff to ignore the situation.
The neighborhood dog in Jeff courtyard is found dead after it was seen digging flowerbeds but only Thorward seems less surprise by the ugly incident . This made Jeff and Lisa send an accusation letter to Thorward accusing him of murder just so they can watch how he would react again when he reads it. However, the tactic works well enough that Jeff calls Thorward threatening him that he will go to the police to file for a report against him if he refuses to meet him up in a nearby bar. Then Immediately, Thorward leaves the house for the bar as instructed by Jeff .
Lisa rushes over to Thorwards apartment in search of an evidence against him. She finds his wife’s wedding ring but her search was interrupted by Thorward quick arrival into his apartment. We are about to carry out another murder when the police arrive. The police has been summoned by Jeff within a twinkle of an eyes. Lisa have to take sometime out a free trip downtown for breaking and entering . But before she leaves, she deeps her finger into jeffs pocket to let him know she has taking the ring as an evidence.
But this turns out that it’s not a great idea . Thorward quickly notices what is going on between Jeff and Lisa which forces him to pay a social visit to Jeff which is not really a social visit at all. Jeff is highly stuck in his wheelchair but he also manages to fend off from Thorward through his smart use of blending telephoto lens camera flashbulbs. It appears he’s getting a free trip through the window that he’s spent so much time looking through.
This time, even though the police finally arrives again but not as faster as they ought to; the police quick and hasty arrival would have atleast prevented Jeff our hero from jumping down into the courtyard despite the fact that he survives through the help of good Samaritan cops who serve as his God sent , Thorward who bombarded into Jeff apartment in an assignation attempt was taking into custody by police. Jeff , now wears cast in his two broken legs but atleast he survived as our hero; jeff takes a happy sleep in his wheelchair while his pretty Lisa smiles for having proven to Jeff that she’s worth more than just a beautiful face even though she accuses jeff or not being man enough ,she still reads her magazine while Jeff is asleep.
In this analysis, the voyeuristic point of view is used when when we were all asked to join Stewart in his voyeurism and we gladly and cheerfully did.
The experience in this movie is not so much like watching a movie , instead it’s like SPYING on your neighbors. Hitchcock hold us down in the movie from the beginning till the end ; as his hero Stewart Jeff who is also our hero, knowledgably picks up his big telephoto lens and start to surf the entire courtyard through the open windows from his own apartment, we also look through jeff lens and that takes us to his own way of seeing. Therefore, because Hitchcock makes us see through his own eyes, Stewart’s voyeurism is accomplished in us ,because we see because he sees and when he doesn’t see, then we don’t see too. When Thorward comes through the door to kill Jeff , we focuses so much on the scene because Hitchcock wants us to share the feeling and guilt and we did . That’s where voyeurism comes to play in the movie.
Gaze : the killer locks eyes with ours across the courtyard. That is the gaze part !
Note : Hitchcock rear window is the most visual film , it’s about watching, it keeps the camera at the eyes level of jeff , so that everything we see , we see from his perspective, if he can’t see something , then we can’t see too. Hitchcock never leaves that camera view except to show us jeffs reactions. However, we’re totally identifies with Jeffs point of view. Jeff feeling of not being able to go out or leaving his apartment traps us too as the viewers. Immediately Thorward understands that he’s been watched through the window by jeff. This scene made us the viewers also feel we have been caught too. This scene gives us the feeling that we have been caught by Thorward. The Hitchcock ability to use image to his story is amazing and it’s a cinematic choice that directors use to make confident and successful movies.
Digest sound: Hitchcock wanted to keep non- diegetic sounds to an absolute minimum in rear windows. The jeff way of hearing, is our own way of hearing too. Speeches and other conversations in the courtyard and other apartment are muted to the minimum, for example, the same way jeff hears the car sound and environmental noises in his apartment is the same way we hear them. Because we see exactly from his own point of view and we hear whatever he hears from his own angle too.