REAR WINDOW, the perfect summer movie

The best part about the dog days of August in NY is that the heat and humidity provide the perfect backdrop for watching Hitchcock‘s 1954 REAR WINDOW, starring Jimmy Stewart as a photographer stuck at home nursing a broken leg and Grace Kelly as the woman who loves him (their relationship is supposedly based on the real life love affair between Robert Capra and Ingrid Bergman).

The reason this film remains such an enduring classic is due, in part, to its meticulous production. L.B. Jeffries’ neighborhood was not shot on location but on a soundstage at Paramount, making it, at the time, the largest indoor set ever built at the studio. But it never feels too staged because Hitchcock went over the top to maintain a certain level of realism. All the sound, for example is diegetic, and as for lighting, over one thousand arc lights were used for daytime sequences making it so hot at one point, that the emergency sprinklers went off.

More impressive still is the fact that each apartment in Thorwald’s building, 31 in all, had electricity and water. Mrs. Torso even lived in hers all day long during the shoot. This film is best served hot – make sure you watch it before the summer’s over.