Rear Window (1954) ***1/2
I've finally checked this one off my "to do" list. I started it once maybe 20 years ago, but it was late night, and the slow talky opening just lost me. I quit and never made it back to it. Well, this time, I stupidly did the same thing again. Started it Saturday night after my insomniac 4am viewing of Stake Land the previous night. Yet again, I found myself nodding off about 30 minutes in, so I stopped and just finished now, the next day.
Well, I know I'm in the minority, but this one for me is just "good" Hitchcock, not up there with my favorites. Technically, the set is brilliant--all those mini plays within a play in the various windows, and the whole voyeurism subtext about people wasting their lives watching other people live is smart and relevant and all. It just felt a little drawn out for what is really such a small story.
I also think I would have preferred a younger actor in Stewart's role. He looked an old 46 with all that grey hair, so his line about "I'm not ready to get married" seemed off key, and he's saying that in reference to Grace Fucking Kelly. She might not be the best actress to cast for a role in which we're expected to believe she's being rebuffed by a reluctant heterosexual man. Riiiight.
They do have a great chemistry nonetheless, and Stewart plays up that everyman charm as usual. Anyway, certainly not a miss by any stretch, and I can see what other people love about it, but I'm not sure it makes my personal Hitchcock top ten.