Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB.
USA, 1954. Alfred J. Hitchcock Productions. Screenplay by John Michael Hayes, based on the short story by Cornell Woolrich. Cinematography by Robert Burks. Produced by Alfred Hitchcock. Music by Franz Waxman. Production Design by J. McMillan Johnson, Hal Pereira. Costume Design by Edith Head. Film Editing by George Tomasini.
James Stewart is fantastic as a photojournalist who finds himself with nothing to do after a broken leg leaves him holed up in his apartment, staring at his back-window neighbours while sitting in his wheelchair. It’s just lazy days until one night when he is under the impression that he has witnessed a murder. Girlfriend Grace Kelly insists that he is just bored and seeing things, but eventually even she can’t resist being caught up in the intrigue that he is creating. Hitchcock’s direction is letter-perfect, the screenplay by John Michael Hayes is seamless, and all the performances shine–Kelly was never sexier, Stewart never more stalwart and Thelma Ritter never more acidically delightful. A real treat for anyone lucky enough to see it.
Academy Award Nominations: Best Director (Alfred Hitchcock); Best Screenplay; Best Cinematography-Colour; Best Sound Recording
Venice Film Festival: In Competition