Rear Window

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, 1954

Written by John Michael Hayes, from a story by Cornell Woolrich.


How is Jeffries' act of looking out the window across the courtyard similar to our act of watching a film?

What point of view does Hitchcock's camera establish in the course of the film?

Consider the roles of glances and gazes throughout the film. Who looks at whom, who is seen by whom, who watches without being seen in return? What technological devices aid or impede vision in the course of the film?

How does the uneasy banter between Jeffries and Lisa (discussing issues of marriage, committment, the roles of men and women, etc.) relate to the drama unfolding across the courtyard?

In one of its aspects, this is a detective film, its story concerned with the discovery of a crime. But Hitchcock seems as concerned with the motives of the amateur detectives as he is with those of the villain. What does the film suggest about Jeffries' and Lisa's (and Stella's) desires and motives? How does Hitchcock make use of the personas of his two big stars (Stewart and Kelly)?

Do we feel any sympathy for the villain, Lars Thorwald?