Rear Window
Entertainment: +3 1/2
Acceptability: +2 1/2

This recent restoration of Alfred Hitchcocks classic 1950s thriller is a treat for movie fans of all ages. The late Jimmy Stewart stars as Jeff, a magazine photographer whose broken leg forces him to spend a sticky New York summer in his un-airconditioned apartment, which he calls a "swamp of boredom." From his window overlooking the courtyard, he spends the time watching his neighbors; a dancer in brief outfits practicing her routines, a lonely old maid imagining dinner with a lover, and a middle-aged man arguing with his invalid wife. When the couple's arguing suddenly ceases and the husband acts suspiciously, Jeff becomes obsessed with the thought that the man killed his invalid wife. At first, Jeff's girlfriend, Lisa (Grace Kelly), and his nurse (Thelma Ritter) think his imagination is over worked and urge him not to get involved. Eventually, however, the three risk their lives to prove a murder has indeed been committed. Suspense, romance, drama and humor are all woven into a tapestry of classic movie entertainment. REAR WINDOW will once again intrigue anyone over the age of 12.

Comparing this classic with today's thrillers illustrates the real genius of film making. Made at a time when gore, filthy language and graphic sex were banned from films, Hitchcock's ability to convey evil acts by innuendo and suspicious behavior allows viewers to exercise their own imagination. Although an underlying theme implies voyeurism as a harmless pastime, the greater theme is caring about your neighbors. The only violence shown is a struggle between Jeff and the killer and Lisa is shoved against the wall. Only subtle hints imply that romance between Lisa and Jeff could become sexual. She insists on spending the night in his apartment and is shown in a modest nightgown. But, with his leg in a cast up to his waist, sex seems unlikely. They also exchange tender kisses without the groping included in recent films' love scenes. Another refreshing element in REAR WINDOW is the absence of foul words. Both Jeff and Lisa are worldly, sophisticated professionals, yet they express anger, frustration or passion without gutter language. A master of suspense, Hitchcock manages to enthrall without hitting viewers over the head with graphic sex, gory violence or foul language. Hollywood should learn from past masters and swing the moral pendulum back the other way.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Distributor: Universal Pictures, 100 Universal City Plaza, Universal City, CA 91608

Crude Language: None
Obscene Language: None
Profanity: None
Violence: Few times Mild and moderate (man pushed out of window, woman shoved against wall)
Sexual Intercourse: None; implied few times (newlyweds' voices from bedroom)
Nudity: Few times (dancer in short-shorts and low-cut top, woman in nightgown)
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Few times (woman spends night in man's apartment, dancer practice movements suggestive)
Drug Abuse: Few times (smoking and alcohol drinking)
Other: Voyeurism implied, caring for neighbors
Running Time: 110 minutes
Intended Audience: Teenagers and adults

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