Rear Window

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The weather is getting hotter, and photographer L.B. Jefferies (James Stewart) is stuck in his apartment with a broken leg and nothing to do–that is, nothing to do but spy on his neighbours through their open windows across the way in the apartment complex. There’s an attractive and scantily clad dancer, a songwriter, a lonely woman, and the Thorwalds (Raymond Burr and Irene Winston), a bickering couple, among others. But when Mrs. Thorwald disappears, Jefferies is sure that something’s wrong. Soon, despite the warnings of his girlfriend Lisa (Grace Kelly), and his motherly nurse Stella (Thelma Ritter), Jefferies has out his binoculars and telephoto lens and is studying his neighbour ‘like a bug under glass.’ However, looking in from the outside might not be as safe as Jefferies assumes. REAR WINDOW is not only a gripping story of murder and suspense, it is a celebrated allegory on the nature of film itself, a story in which the audience watches Jefferies watch the story unfold. The different windows can also be seen as a representation of the emerging medium of television, with Jefferies watching a multitude of ‘shows’ from the comfort of his own apartment.
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