What can be seen through an open window? According to Alfred Hitchcock you can get yourself killed just by being suspicious of your neighbours.
The hero of this film is the professional photographer L.B. Jeffries (James Stewart) stuck in a wheelchair in his apartment because of a broken leg. By placing the protagonist in the wheelchair and thus limit his movements the director wanted the viewers to experience the same feeling of limitation. Like him, we are trapped in his apartment and all we can do is look through the window at the close-by building. Out of sheer boredom he uses his camera with a telephoto lens to look around the neighborhood.
The view is focused through the shape of the camera lens so it actually seems as though we are looking through a camera. This effect was unique at the time and it has been used in filmography ever since.
As he is ”spying” on his neighbors one day he notices that one of them –Mr. Thorvald’s wife is missing. The more he observes Mr. Thorvald the more he notices that he is acting in a strange way. He even contacts his friend who is a detective but there is no evidence for an arrest. At first his girlfriend played by the lovely Grace Kelly and his maid think that he is crazy but later they start to believe him and even help him to uncover the crime.
The movie is really interesting and the way you get to know the whole building and the people in it in just two hours is another proof of Hitchcock’s genius as a filmmaker. The ending gets your heart racing and makes you wonder whether it is worth to succumb to one’s curiosity.
Napisao: Frano Pahor