Rear Window

Synopsis: Rear Window is a 1954 American Technicolor mystery thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and written by John Michael Hayes based on Cornell Woolrich's 1942 short story "It Had to Be Murder". Originally released by Paramount Pictures, the film stars James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey, Thelma Ritter and Raymond Burr. It was screened at the 1954 Venice Film Festival.
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Production: Paramount Pictures
  Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 8 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
112 min



Although we do not see the foreground window frame, we see

the whole background of a Greenwich Village street.

We can see the rear of a number of assorted houses and small

apartment buildings whose fronts face on the next cross-town

street, sharply etched by the morning sun.

Some are two stories high; others three; some have peaked

roofs, others are flat. There is a mixture of brick and wood

and wrought iron in the construction.

The apartment buildings have fire escapes, the others do


The neighborhood is not a prosperous one, but neither is it

poor. It is a practical, conventional dwelling place for

people living on marginal incomes, luck -- or hope and careful


The summer air is motionless and heavy with humid heat.

It has opened windows wide, pushed back curtains, lifted

blinds and generally brought the neighborhood life into a

sweltering intimacy. Yet, people born and bred to life within

earshot and eye glance of a score of neighbors have learned

to preserve their own private worlds by uniformly ignoring

each other, except on direct invitation.

THE CAMERA PULLS BACK until a large sleeping profile of a

man fills the screen. It is so large that we do not see any

features, but merely the temple and side of the cheek down

which a stream of sweat is running.

THE CAMERA PANS OFF this to the right hand side of the window,

and MOVES TO a thermometer which is hanging on the wall just

outside the window. It registers 84.

THE CAMERA MOVES ON into the open, and brings nearer to us a

room with a large studio window. We are able to see inside

this room. A short, balding man is standing near the window,

shaving, using a small bowl of water and a portable mirror

which he has set up on a shelf.

To the right of him is a battered upright piano. On top of

the piano is a radio. The music selection coming from the

radio stops, and the announcer is heard.


The time -- 7:
15 A.M., WOR, New York.

The temperature, outside, 84 --

Friends -- is your life worth one


The man shaving quickly puts down his razor, hurries to the

radio, and changes the station, moving past a number of

commercial voices until he again finds some music.

Contented, he returns to his shaving.

THE CAMERA MOVES ON AND OVER to a far building. It passes

over the face of this building until it comes to fire escapes.

It goes up and near enough to one which has become the outdoor

bedroom of a couple. We are near enough to see an alarm clock

hanging from the rail which is now ringing vigorously. A man

rises lazily to a sitting position. He gropes to switch the

alarm off.

We see that his pajamas are stained with sweat. In his sitting

position he leans forward and shakes somebody beside him. To

our surprise, the head of this other person -- a woman --

rises where his feet are. They have been sleeping in opposite

directions. They sit limply looking at each other with

bedraggled and weary expressions which show they enjoyed

very little sleep in the heat of the night.

THE CAMERA NOW MOVES DOWN toward the left onto another low

building. It MOVES IN A LITTLE to a living room window. Just

inside the windowsill, a small fan is oscillating. The fan

sits on the right side of the table, and to the left of it

is an automatic toaster.

Behind the toaster stands a full-bodied young woman,

apparently wearing only a pair of black panties. Her stomach,

navel, and the lower part of her chest are naked. Just below

her breasts, the curtain, partly drawn, has thrown a deep

shadow which extends upward, hiding her breasts, shoulders

and head. Two pieces of toast pop up in the toaster. She

takes them out, butters them. Then she turns around and bends

over another table on which stands an automatic coffee-maker.

She picks up the coffee-maker, and swings back to the table

to sit down. She does this so deftly that her breasts are

never exposed, but hidden by the fan as she sits down. The

fan moves back and forth as she pours coffee, far enough to

reveal that she wears no bra, but not far enough to fulfill

the exciting promise of her lack of clothes.

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John Michael Hayes

John Michael Hayes (11 May 1919 – 19 November 2008) was an American screenwriter, who scripted several of Alfred Hitchcock's films in the 1950s. more…

All John Michael Hayes scripts | John Michael Hayes Scripts

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Submitted by aviv on November 02, 2016

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