DVD of the week: Rear Window

RICHARD Bryson delves into the archives to pick out this week’s best DVD - one of Alfred Hitchcock’s greatest films.

DVD: Rear Window

Why have I gone for a 1954 Alfred Hitchcock classic? Well, it’s one of the master director’s models of suspense that has somehow passed me by.

I’ve caught little bits of it over the years – in fact, one of the television channels ran it again on a Saturday afternoon recently – so I decided to see the whole film.

It has James Stewart playing a professional photographer who, while confined to a wheelchair with a broken leg, becomes obsessed with watching the private dramas of his neighbours play out across the courtyard.

Virtually all the action is centred on his New York room, and the view he looks out on.

Hot, humid summer days turn into night and the mood shifts to tense drama as Stewart’s character and his girlfriend (an impossibly glamorous Grace Kelly) suspect they have seen a murder.

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This is Hitchcock tapping into the ‘nosey neighbour’ in many of us – a fascinating story of obsession and voyeurism. We are intrigued by his neighbours, and their daily rituals, and disturbed by one in particular.

It may be old but the plot and pay-off are well worth watching.

RICHARD BRYSON

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