Tag Archives: Alfred Hitchcock

My Thoughts on: Rear Window (1954)

*This film is being reviewed at the request of a Patreon patron

I was initially excited to watch Rear Window, a mystery film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Up until now the only Hitchcock films I’ve seen are Rebecca, The Birds and excerpts from Psycho so I was looking forward to seeing what this film was like. Rear Window follows a photographer (James Stewart) laid up in his apartment with a broken leg. With little else to do, he ends up observing the lives of his neighbors through their back windows. One night he becomes convinced that one of his neighbors, Mr. Thorwald (Raymond Burr) has murdered his wife and spends the rest of the film trying to prove it.

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With all due respect to Hitchcock, the film didn’t do much for me. I did enjoy watching Grace Kelly (as I hadn’t seen any of her films before) and James Stewart is always fun to watch but…there was something about this film that just bothered me. I think having the action confined to Jeff’s apartment (we only see what he sees) frustrated me, because I’m used to films that follow other characters around. Also, the stories of his neighbors look strange when they’re viewed through tiny windows (which look small even when Jeff is looking through binoculars or his camera lens). It reminded me a bit of watching a film within a film, particularly silent films (like when Lisa breaks into Thorwald’s apartment while Jeff watches), since you see the action but can’t really hear much of what’s being said. I’m probably just missing the point of the film, but I wanted to see more than what I was given.

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I will say I did like the confrontation between Jeff and Thorwald, when Jeff gets the idea to blind the villain with his flash bulbs to buy some time. It’s a highly suspenseful scene because you’re anxiously wondering if Jeff can get the next bulb ready before Thorwald completely recovers. I was also fascinated to learn that the piano player was Rogdom Bagdasarian, better known as the creator of Alvin and the Chipmunks. And while I was glad to check another Hitchcock film off my “to watch” list, I don’t think I’ll be watching it again any time soon.

What do you think about Rear Window? Let me know your thoughts on this film in the comments below and have a great day!

See also:

Film/TV Reviews

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Film Music 101: Anempathetic sound

Since yesterday I talked about empathetic sound in movies, today I thought it was only fitting to talk about the opposite: anempathetic sound.

As one might guess, anempathetic sound is when the music or sound effects in a movie stand in direct contrast to what is actually happening on the screen. For example, say you’re watching a horror movie and the upcoming victim is going about their day and say they turn on some music and a bright, chipper song is now playing (this would be diegetic music, see the first Film Music 101 post for the definition). Suddenly, the killer/monster strikes! While the victim dies a horrible, gruesome death, the happy song keeps playing on and on, indifferent to the plight of the victim.

Anempathetic sound does not have to occur solely with music however. In Hitchcock’s immortal classic Psycho, the famous shower scene takes place with the sound of running water playing continuously throughout. Even after the character is dead, the sound of water continues to play, also indifferent to the fact that a young woman was just murdered.

Never saw it coming, poor thing….

Become a Patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

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See also:

Film Music 101: Foley

Film Music 101: Montage

Film Music 101: Compilation Score

Film Music 101: Leitmotif

Film Music 101: Orchestration and cues

Film Music 101: “Stinger” Chords

Film Music 101: Dubbing

Film Music 101: Diegetic vs. Non-Diegetic Music

Film Music 101: Underscore

Film Music 101: Sidelining

Film Music 101: “Test” Lyrics

Film Music 101: The First Film Score

Film Music 101: Borrowing

Film Music 101: Arranger