They were to leave involvement and engagement to the politicians, the Brain Trust (i.e. Thorwald’s isolation helps him remain unsuspected by everyone but Jeff. There a few films more associated with their director than Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window. his fascination with strangulation, corpses, etc.). A wheelchair-bound photographer spies on his neighbors from his apartment window and becomes convinced one of them has committed murder. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. After breaking hi… Perhaps Hitchcock wasn’t included in cultural/social histories because he was so successful at framing (if I may use your term!) https://s-usih.org/2020/12/call-for-submissions-john-dewey-prize/, Join us for a #USIH2020 roundtable on Mon. This film masterpiece was made entirely on one confined set built at Paramount Studios - a realistic courtyard composed of 32 … They learn how the magnificent set was constructed, marvel at Jimmy Stewart's portrayal of a man on the moral edge, and discuss why Grace Kelly is not a "Lisa." I don’t know. [8] Lary May, The Big Tomorrow: Hollywood and the Politics of the American Way (Chicagao: University of Chicago Press, 2002), 222. They learn how the magnificent set was constructed, marvel at Jimmy Stewart's portrayal of a man on the moral edge, and discuss why Grace Kelly is not a "Lisa." Join tonight's #USIH2020 panel: "Reform and Revolution in Business Thought and Rhetoric." #USIH #twitterstorians #businesshistory, We’re accepting submissions for the 2021 John Dewey Prize, honoring a book in the #history of American #philosophy, published 2018-2020. Spoto characterizes the latter concern as a “resumption of his basic gravity” and a return to Hitchcock’s “profoundest concerns.” Still, in Rear Window, Hitchcock is merely a “chair-bound voyeur.” Stewart via Jefferies is Hitchcock’s “alter ego,” according to Spoto. Of course he was driven by intuition, but he never stopped trying to verify his sense of the world, of right and wrong. The plot and more details are available at AMC’s Filmsite. Proceeds benefitted the American-Korean Foundation, which had been “formed to provide emotional and material relief” after the war. 28 Dec. 2015. @Tinky: Thanks for the comment. Was it a kind of suburban containment fantasy—“spousicide”? Interesting post Tim- Your observation about the framed views of the characters is convincing and I would only add that it seems to me that Jefferie’s is viewing these characters from a even narrower lens, his telescopic camera, which makes his analysis more intrusive and myopic. #USIH #twitterstorians Register here https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_0LjhqJRhS5uASmi01B2-2A. Although Jeff struggles with his temporary version of forced isolation it actually serves him better then expected. https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_0LjhqJRhS5uASmi01B2-2A, ⏰ happening soon, join us! harmony of the affluent world”—of the middle-class—and “then slowly reveal[ed] the irrational terror beneath the placid surface.”[6], One of the things I like about Rear Window is its use of framing. The Sound of Loneliness: Rear Window's Soundtrack . CUNY-Brooklyn. By Fawell, John. Production being what it is, both a linear and non-linear process, it is impossible to know what will be a “hit” with audiences upon release—to know what themes will remain relevant over the course of one, two, or three years. Just the final shot from Rear Window, showing Grace Kelly picking up Vogue magazine and trying to hide it from Jeff, indicates a sense of discomfort and dissatisfaction; it always struck me as Hitch’s way of saying that this relationship would not be a happy one. "Rear Window" is a remake of the 1954 film by Alfred Hitchcock starring James Stewart and Grace Kelly of the same title. Therefore, we reserve the right to remove any comments that contain any of the above and/or are not intended to further the discussion of the topic of the post. We ask that those who participate in the discussions generated in the Comments section do so with the same decorum as they would in any other academic setting or context. himself and his films as sui generis, as spectacles from the mind of one “master of suspense” rather than as pieces of popular culture. At that point Jefferies convalescence becomes a detective activity, drawing in his caretaker, Stella (Thelma Ritter), and his old friend, the detective Tom Doyle (Wendell Corey). Paul & Amy peer into 1957's voyeuristic Hitchcock thriller Rear Window! [1] What’s interesting to me now is how I thought about and watched his films on his terms alone. I had apparently made a silent choice, this being a grad school hobby, to avoid thinking about Hitchcock contextually, in relation to the time of conception and production of his films. But it does expose many facets of the loneliness of city life and it tacitly demonstrates the impulse of morbid curiosity” (C3). #USIH #twitterstorians https://s-usih.org/conference/conferences/, Hey @Ideas_History /#USIH fans! portrait of pensive woman sitting at table in the kitchen - loneliness stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images. All text (including posts, pages, and comments) posted on this blog on or after August 7, 2012, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. It’s trivia, but it may be interesting to know that Grace kelly turned down the role of Eva Marie Saint in Elia Kazan’s On the Waterfront to work with Hitchock instead.[3]. The following analysis reveals a comprehensive look at the Storyform for Rear Window.Unlike most of the analysis found here—which simply lists the unique individual story appreciations—this in-depth study details the actual encoding for each structural item. Despite my graduate thinking about canons (via the great books idea), I wasn’t concerned about screening only Hitchcock’s “greatest hits” from the Fifties and Sixties—Psycho, Vertigo, Rear Window, The Birds, North by Northwest, etc. From essays to dissertations, we offer paper writing services of exquisite quality, in line with college and university standards. We’re always missing some key part of the story. Confined to apparently sedate voyeuristic activities via his rear window, Jefferies comes to believe that a neighbor, Lars Thorwald (Raymond Burr), has murdered his wife. Rear Window (1954) is an intriguing, brilliant, macabre Hitchcockian visual study of obsessive human curiosity and voyeurism. When most people think of Hitchcock, it’s the screeching violins from Psycho that first come to mind. Intellectual History is a nonpartisan educational organization. May noted that Hitchcock dealt with “alienated, deranged characters,” and “hidden enemies,” but ultimately “assured viewers [in his films] that an orderly universe prevailed.”[8] Other than May, perhaps I simply did not read enough on film (e.g. Hitchcock: “Rear Window is entirely a mental process, done by use of the visual.” Themes: Voyeurism, Watching a movie as voyeurism: (1) the audience members are voyeurs who see through Jeff’s ey es and Despite Hitchcock's reluctance to make statements about the human condition in his films, Rear Window comments movingly on certain universal themes, particularly the loneliness and isolation of humans and the even more particularly a certain kind of modern, American, urban loneliness and isolation. Jefferies, smartly played by James Stewart, and his gorgeous, camera-friendly Manhattan socialite girlfriend, Lisa Carol Freemont (Grace kelly). Ralph, Alice, Ed and Trixie would probably take umbrage at these comments. DUE 1/31/2021. Indeed, it was probably the 1999 Hitchcock centennial that prompted AMC to review so many of his films precisely when I was grad student (1998-2006—with breaks). @zeithistoriker is chairing. Apparently the film generated a “mob scene” at the Rivoli. See also Elaine Tyler May, Homeward Bound: American Families in the Cold War Era (New York: Basic Books, 1999). [2] Spoto, 575; Gerald Mast and Bruce F. Kawin, A Short History of the Movies, sixth edition (Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1996), 326-327. “AFI 100 Films, 100 Years.” American Film Institute. Plus: Lane Moore, author of How To Be Alone, talks about how she deals with loneliness and isolation. Thorwald works a traveling salesman (Melani). Jeffries, a world traveling magazine photographer accustomed to living a fast pace active lifestyle. Adding to his frustration is the fact that he can no longer run from relationships by leaving town for a job. I think you’re right that Hitchcock films are almost always relatable to their period, and you argue well for this one; I like the “frames of reference” notion. Rear Window is a classic mystery film that was released on September 1st, 1954, and directed by Alfred Hitchcock– a revolutionary in voyeuristic cinema. Later, during my adolescent and teenage years, I left Hitchcock behind for girls, science fiction, fantasy, and school concerns. “Rear Window.” Literature and Film. Americans were contained; they were “homeward bound” like Jefferies, though uninjured physically. The various window frames outlining Miss Lonely Hearts, Miss Torso, The Composer, and the newlyweds speak to our limited understanding of the other. In any case, it worked out for me. I recorded many of those AMC showings on VHS, and kept a log (yes, I’m a nerd like that) of my viewings in a copy of Donald Spoto’s The Dark Side of Genius (Little, Brown, 1983; Da Capo, 1999). If you have not seen Rear Window, rent it or add it to your Netflix queue. 30 Dec. 2015. Since we could only police the common square (and not too vigorously debate in it), the terrified voyeurism of Americans was confined to their rear windows. When you’re that fast, you can replicate your audiences’ weltanshauungen. When he passes his long days and nights by shamelessly maintaining a secret watch on his neighbors, we share his obsession. “A ‘Rear Window’ View Seen at the Rivoli.” The New York Times 5 Aug. 1954: C3-C4. Relationships/ Marriage Married couple v the Newlyweds Jeff and Lisa - evolution of the relationship. Oct. 2011. As such, Jeff’s insubstantial speculation about Thorwald murdering his bedridden wife is disturbingly reflective of the social strife in 1950s America, as thousands accused thei… Copyright © 2013- 2020 - MyPaperWriter.com, Isolation in Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window, Hitchcock’s Preservation of the Patriarchal Hegemony Through Power Shifts in Psycho, William Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily versus Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. As a kid, watching the Hitchcock Hour at my grandparents’ house, I admired the mystery and suspense of Hitchcock, as well as shows like The Twilight Zone. We welcome suggestions for corrections to any of our posts. Surveillance/ Voyeurism Binocular and Camera representative of the intensity of the drama in the film. Hitchcock's 1950s romantic-thriller "Rear Window" offers a panoramic view of romantic attachment and its drawbacks. Submitted by perpster on Sun, 04/21/2019 - 1:34am. Temporary isolation proves to be a hidden blessing for Jefferies but has the opposite effect for the film’s antagonist, Lars Thorwald. [Note: This is the third USIH post in relation to “For the Love of Film: The Film Preservation Blogathon III.” Please see the introduction to Ben Alpers’ 2012 USIH blogathaon entry for more information. Produced in 1953 and released in 1954, Rear Window traced the homebound activities of a convalescent-but-formerly-world-traveling photo-journalist, L.B. Read essays samples written by our professional writers and feel free to use them as a source of inspiration and ideas for your own academic work. It requires meeting lots of different people and going to many different places but never staying in one place or getting to know one co-worker well enough to become truly comfortable. Crowther, Bosley. Then again, when you look closely at the production times between films, Hitchcock produced roughly one per year between 1925 and 1962. N.p., 19 Oct. 2014. Returning to my experiences watching Hitchcock while also a graduate student, and trying to connect my viewings with that graduate training, in retrospect I am surprised at how little his films were discussed in the cultural histories I read on the Forties, Fifties, and Sixties. Melani, Lilia. – TL. [1] Donald Spoto, The Dark Side of Genius: The Life of Alfred Hitchcock (Boston: Da Capo Press, 1999), 331, 354. When Jefferies injures himself taking a risky picture he is immobilized, confined to a wheelchair inside his apartment for two months. Loneliness Many of the characters in Rear Window feel lonely over the course of the film, often in their most private moments. Order Now. When Thorwald is not working he spends all of his time caring for his bedridden wife. In Alfred Hitchcock’s enthralling film, Rear Window, set in Manhattan, New York in the 1950s, Hitchcock draws attention to the way physical immobility is simply an echo of emotional immobility as represented by the protagonist, L.B. It’s just that I can’t recall any where his work is cited as symbolic or as a metaphor for any particular year or period. What are all of the characters names? Article excerpt. [2] The film was based on a short story by Cornell Woolrich. Rear Window also grossed 10 million dollars by the end of 1956 (anywhere from $66.1-345 million in 2012 dollars). It stars Christopher Reeve in the title role as a quadriplegic as he happens to be one in real life when the film was made after his horse accident in 1995 together with Daryl Hannah and … The famous film critic Roger Ebert review the film in 1983 and said, “This level of danger and suspense is so far elevated above the cheap thrills of the modern slasher films that ‘Rear Window,’ intended as entertainment in 1954, is now revealed as art.” (Ebert), You're lucky! This also means it has been incorporated into the Dramatica Story Expert application itself as an easily referenced contextual example. Arguably his best-received film, Hitchcock cultivates a protagonist, L.B Jeffries (James Stewart), who relays the film’s message and exploration of scopophilia. [6] Lary May, “Introduction,” in Recasting America: Culture and POlitics in the Age of Cold War, ed. Spoto argued that Rear Window, along with To Catch a Thief, The Trouble with Harry, and The Man Who Knew Too Much, represents a “warm and comic” period—facilitated by screenwriter John Michael Hayes—in relation to Hitchcock’s general “emotional interest and aesthetic concern.” That period contrasted with “the obsessive fear of lost identity” in films like The Wrong Man, Vertigo, North by Northwest, Psycho, The Birds, and Marnie. Tags: .USIH Blog, 1950s, Alfred Hitchcock, Cold War, containment, Donald Spoto, For the Love of Film III, Lary May, Rear Window, Tim Lacy. I also hadn’t lost my adolescent delight in Hitch’s sense of the macabre (e.g. the Eggheads), and the military. Amazing. Early in the film, Jeff sees the Thorwalds arguing multiple times but is not interested in their bickering. Of course, knowing that Burr’s character did commit the murder removes the fuzzy edges and confirms that Americans need to be wary of commies/murders in their midst. The beginning of the film shows Jeff has broken a leg in a racetrack accident. But I did screen Sabotage, Jamaica Inn, Rebecca, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Suspicion, and Saboteur, among others. [5], And, during the Cold War in the Fifties, Americans were expected to merely gaze. ————————————————————————————————————–. As Jefferies winds his way toward solving the mystery, trying to avoid attracting Thorwald’s attention to his snooping, Hitchcock introduces a memorable cast of side characters: the sad sack Miss Lonely Hearts (Judith Evelyn); the athletic, sexy ballet dancer, Miss Torso (Georgine Darcy); the friendly but disaffected “Composer” (Ross Bagdasarian); the unhappy newlyweds; and a spinster cat lady. Even when physically confined Jeff is still determined to be a man of action. © 2007—2020 Society for U.S. And perhaps because we’re a chauvinistic nation(and because of genre)we didn’t see this Brit as making mainstream, truly American movies like a Capra or a Ford…. They lived at 328 Chauncey Street, in the Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn. The responsibility has isolated him from the outside world so much that he almost goes unnoticed by others. [7] Mast and Kawin refer to “window frames as movie frames” in their discussion of Rear Window (p.328). Voyeurism, confinement/ expansion, ethics, gender, love, loneliness. Or was it because Thorwald looked like a killer? He cannot articulate his feelings to Lisa, which is leading to his emotional loneliness and isolation. John Michael Hayes' screenplay was based on Cornell Woolrich's (with pen-name William Irish) original 1942 short story or novelette, It Had to Be Murder. I would disagree with Lary May that an “orderly universe” ultimately prevailed in his films. Jeff is a successful, magazine photographer whose job has him travel all around the world at a moment’s notice. 29 Dec. 2015. I never made it to the early Thirties or his silent films from the Twenties. Web. As demonstrated above, it is not difficult to read Rear Window as a product and reflection of the Cold War. Click HERE to make a donation to the National Film Preservation Foundation.] 12/7, 7pm EST on #RevolutionandReform in #business thought & rhetoric, featuring Quinn Slobodian, Erik Baker, Kwelina Thompson, Sean Delehanty, & Nicholas Foster. Watching Rear Window: Notes Rear Windows has been variously categorized as a comedy-thriller, a romance, and a detective story. As our primary goal is to stimulate and engage in fruitful and productive discussion, ad hominem attacks (personal or professional), unnecessary insults, and/or mean-spiritedness have no place in the USIH Blog’s Comments section. …Let me research for a minute. Intrigue, mystery romance, loneliness and suspense. The film only cost about 2 million to produce. This blog is © 2007-2018 Society for U.S. It’s a level of physical isolation Jeff has never known before. AMC) and the need for breaks from reading and drinking during graduate school, I rediscovered Hitchcock. New York, New York. However, his feelings of isolation began before his crime. Rear window film also brings about the feeling of deep empathy because of its quite sensitivity with which the author Hitchcock registers in the areas of sound and images thus the feeling of human loneliness and alienation (Fawell 5). He is forced to confront the emotional isolation he feels in relationships with characters like Lisa and his detective friend, Doyle. Even when we’re looking out of harmless rear windows, we can’t understand the total context of what’s in our supposedly safe suburban backyards and tidy urban courtyards. Web. Introduction TV and film adaptations of literature do more than translate the written work to the visual medium. Jeff’s actions are basically harmless until one night he accidently sees a neighbor murder his wife. Terrific post linking 50s culture with Hitchcock’s voyeurism in this film. Americans were alone together (with apologies to Sherry Turkle), watching each other through frames of fear—wondering what evils lurked out of view. Explore the themes found in Rear Window - descriptions of each theme along with examples of where they're found in the movie. They…. Sit back & enjoy the scholarship! If he were not so emotionally and physically isolated, he would probably think eavesdropping was wrong but is disconnected to such an extreme that the thought never crosses his mind. This time I experienced his work in film. As an aside, just one year after taking up U.S. citizenship in 1955, Hitchcock earned 4 million dollars but, due to tax shelters, avoiding paying even “a cent of tax.”[4] This correlates with Alpers relaying that Hitchcock, while he tried to preserve his artistic integrity, thoroughly engaged the Hollywood scene. Fawell is a humanities professor at Boston University, and was trained in comparative literature at the University of Chicago. 2. These artistic decisions were not made randomly but instead highlighted the film’s theme of isolation and how it control’s people lives even in a city as crowded as New York. Click thru for details, #USIH #twitterstorians! @Paul: Good question! The fear of Communist influence in the USA led to heightened political repression from the government, and Americans could only prove their loyalty to the country only by offering others’ names to the government. Intellectual History. What is the producers name of the rear window? Oddities were to be shunned, but were nevertheless the objects of our collective gaze. Since the USIH bloggers write under our real names, we would prefer that our commenters also identify themselves by their real name. Use promo "samples20" and get a custom paper on "Isolation in Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window" with 20% discount! A critic also refers to him as a "connoisseur of the perverse," alluding to how Hitchcock is able to render voyeurism ethically ambiguous, instead of harshly criticising the observation of other lives for pleasure. During one of the Jeff’s earlier spying sessions he watches various neighbors and gives them nicknames based on physical or personality traits he observes (Crowther C4). Each helped feed the impoverished imagination of a kid growing up in small-town, rural western Missouri. The bored Jeff is forced to find a new way to entertain himself and takes to spying on his apartment complex neighbors through his courtyard adjacent rear window. …Just did that: Whitfield apparently doesn’t cite Hitchcock or Rear Window. After it’s release in 1954 the movie was nominated for four Academy Awards, including both best director and screenplay. This is what Hitchcock saw in 1950s America—lonely Americans desperate to understand each other. They are all together in this courtyard, … Paul & Amy peer into 1957's voyeuristic Hitchcock thriller Rear Window! He is symbolic of the heroic efforts we should all make to properly frame the truth. Alfred Hitchcock. As an aside, despite my admiration for Jefferies’ tenacity in trying to discover the truth, one of things I disliked about Rear Window was how quickly Jefferies came to believe that Lars Thorwald killed his wife. Famed actor James Stewart plays the film’s main character, L. B. Start studying The sound of loneliness: Rear Window's soundtrack (Week 4). My love and admiration for Hitchcock began with fuzzy UHF television reruns of the Alfred Hitchcock Presents (or “Hour,” if you prefer). So, in between readings of Foucault, Thomas Kuhn, Peter Novick, and other graduate school standards, I worked my way through the Hitchcock film bibliography. Just as the power of Hopper’s paintings lies in what he chooses to exclude, so the tension and spectacle in Hitchcock’s Rear Window relies on what is obscured or unseen. New York Times film critic Bosley Crowther wrote that, “What it has to say about people and human nature is superficial and glib. Jeff is convinced of the murder and spends the rest of the film trying to prove his theory to his companions and attempting to catch his neighbor in some sort of cover-up by watching him even more closely. Web. Instead, Hitchcock chose to feature one sparse set and a minimal cast. As the official blog of the Society of US Intellectual History, we hope to foster a diverse community of scholars and readers who engage with one another in discussions of US intellectual history, broadly understood. Fear of Marriage and Voyeurism in Rear Window In Alfred Hitchcock's 1954 classic thriller Rear Window, Jimmy Stewart stars as L.B. 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