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It's not pure "Hitchcokian".

Posted by Wash Oil Rig Clothing in Fargo North Dakota,

Rear Window. This was the second offering in the Fargo Theatre's annual Classic Series, shown Tuesday Night,
August 12. Rear Window was produced by Alfred Hitchcock in 1954, and is one of his signature pieces. It's not pure "Hitchcokian" in that there's no surpising plot twists at the conclusion(well, there's a minor one, but of relatively little importance). But it is definitely a thriller, with a great cast.

Before describing the movie, I must comment on society as it was in 1954, when I first saw the movie. The person introducing the movie pointed out that in 1954 no-one had air conditioning. This meant that everyone had their windows open during warm weather.

The movie takes place in an apartment complex of two room apartments. Jimmy Stewart is a photojournalist laid up in one of the apartments with a broken leg. All he has to do all day is sit and observe what is going on in all the other
apartments. Thus, no-one has any privacy. Take it from one that has been there, the apartment complex didn't matter: in those days there was no such thing as personal privacy since everyone had their windows open.

Jimmy expects one of the other tenants(Raymond Burr: Perry Mason and Ironsides) has murdered his wife and is surreptitiously disposing of the body parts. The movie is about Jimmy's, his girl friend(Grace Kelly in what has to be one of her last roles before becoming Princess of Monaco) and his nurse(Thelma Ritter, who steals every scene in which she appears)'s attempt to convince Jimmy's detective friend of this before Burr disappears.

With a cast this strong and Hitchcock directing, I don't see how anything could go wrong, and it doesn't. I just wonder how well most people that aren't senior citizens can connect with it, since the lack of air conditioning is a major part of the genre. Of course, I didn't notice anything strange when I first saw the movie, and probably wouldn't have this time if it hadn't been pointed out to me.

It has been suggested to me that we don't have any more privacy now, it’s just that instead of our neighbors hearing and seeing everything we do, it's the government, the phone company, credit bureaus and the like that do.
It might be interesting to see a remake with this type of lack of privacy, as opposed to audio-visual.

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Fargo Forum Alternative said...

The Film Festival was a huge success and the movies where better.