I like old movies. True, there are a bunch that are just crap, but back in the day, you didn’t have special effects and huge explosions to make up for the lack of acting ability. On that note, I love James Stewart and who wouldn’t? He’s extremely affable, good looking and plays a perfect regular person in any movie he made.
My wife got me into Alfred Hitchcock. I had seen some of his movies before she really got me into them, but now I’m a real fan. Rope was amazing and is the movie I’d credit with my full conversion. Rope was shot in two scenes if I remember correctly. I’d go look it up, but this post is about Rear Window, so I don’t care and neither do you.
In the 1954 film, Rear Window, a wheelchair bound (he broke a leg) photographer suspects his neighbor of killing his wife and you get to ride the roller-coaster too. You are stuck in this scene, just like him, as the entire movie is shot on this one set. Did he kill her? Naw, no way. She’s at her sisters. Oh my god! He did it! No, she’s fine. Anyway, I won’t tell you what happens because it’s that good and you should see it if you haven’t. In fact, the American Film Institute named it #3 of the top 10 mystery movies in 2008.
Grace Kelly is easy on the eyes too, even if she isn’t in one of her most glamorous roles. This is Ms. Kelly’s first and only film where she can be seen smoking a cigarette. She had always refused to do it on camera before and evidently after. Though we only see her in the apartment, she still manages to wear some great dresses and look smokin’ hot doing it.
So why this post?
Today, I ran across this picture on Reddit/imgur and I thought I’d share it here too. It was an epic production and the set consisted of 31 apartments, 8 of which were completely furnished. Hitchcock felt the buildings weren’t tall enough so he had the studio floor dug down to build the courtyard and street level. To simulate day-light, they had to use 1000 arc lamps which at one point set off the studio’s sprinkler system. At the time, the set was Paramount’s largest set ever constructed.
If you know anything about Hitchcock, you know he always makes a cameo in his movies. About 30 minutes in, he can be seen winding the clock in the songwriter’s apartment. The songwriter, incidentally, was the real life creator of Alvin and the Chipmunks.
Want to watch it online? http://ffilms.org/rear-window-1954/ Don’t click any links to download anything. It’s probably not safe.
I hope that mainstream movies start to focus on script and plot instead of explosions and tits. It seems rare. Not that explosions or tits are bad, but let me know what you think.