Rear Window (1954)
Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
Available on DVD
L. B. Jefferies (James Stewart) has broken his leg and is only one week away from getting out of his cast and his wheelchair. Through the rear window of his apartment he has the perfect view of the backs of the neighboring windows and through their frames, a view into the lives of those who live inside. He spends his days and nights learning the lives and habits of those who surround him. It all seems like innocent fun until he witnesses what he believes to be a murder. In the process of investigating the proposed murder he convinces his uptown girlfriend Lisa (Grace Kelly) and his nurse Stella (Thelma Ritter) but the person he needs to believe him the most is Det. Lt. Doyle (Wendell Corey) who is a harder sell.
This film is a clear condemnation of the hysteria over neighbors spying on each other in the height of the communist scare. Jefferies puts together a case for murder without ever actually seeing anything, his entire case is based in assumption and in his mind, he has convicted a man of murder without ever seeing anything but what happens in the window of the man’s apartment. There is also a clear statement about neighbors and the loss of contact to those we live closest to but know absolutely nothing about. The climax of the film features classic Hitchcock suspense that will keep you guessing to the very end who is right.