Rear Window – A Film Review by Daniel Prinn – Pure entertainment!

 

Rear Window

Release Date: August 1, 1954

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Stars: James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey

Runtime: 112 min

Tagline: Through his rear window and the eye of his powerful camera he watched a great city tell on itself, expose its cheating ways…and Murder!

 

Alfred Hitchcock is a really great filmmaker, making greats such as this, Psycho, The 39 Steps (which I haven’t seen, admittedly, but I’ve heard great things about it) The Birds, and Rope, to name a few.

It’s a rather simple film with a simple, great and effective plot, which just keeps you on edge when it really gets into the story.

L.B. “Jeff” Jefferies is a photographer who hurt his leg and has to stay at his apartment and is wheelchair bound for a while. To pass some time, he starts spying on the neighbours. When he notices some peculiar behaviour, he wonders if a woman across the way has been murdered – which leads himself into a mystery that he must attempt to solve with the help of an investigator, his gal, and his nurse.

It’s really one heck of a suspenseful ride and I really enjoyed it. I haven’t had this much of a great time with a film of only few sets since 12 Angry Men. The beginning was moderately slow because it was only just starting to build up the suspense, but it is still interesting, and when it really got into the story it really is engaging and has pleasant twists and turns and is one heck of an entertaining and suspenseful experience.

James Stewart delivers a usual great performance as Jefferies (he is really one fine old-time actor that I have really grown to love) and the film also stars Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey, Thelma Ritter and Raymond Burr.

It isn’t my favourite Hitchcock film (that would be Psycho), but it is truly worthy of a close second, the suspense hardly stops.

 90/100

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Harvey – A Film Review by Daniel Prinn — Bonus Review. A little double dose of old cinema, and Jimmy Stewart.

Harvey Poster

Harvey

Release Date: October 13, 1950

Director: Henry Koster

Stars: James Stewart, Josephine Hull, Peggy Dow

Runtime: 104 min

Tagline: The Wonderful Pulitzer Prize Play… becomes one of the Great Motion Pictures of our Time! 

It’s a great fantasy-comedy. It’s a classic, but as far as classics go, it isn’t that amazing.

Elwood P. Dowd is a pleasant mild-mannered man, who is the drunk around town (but ironically enough, he only ever takes a drink once or twice throughout the film). Elwood used to be so much more pleasant, until his mother died and he had entered an emotional phase, which involved him gaining an imaginary friend. The imaginary friend is very special, as he is a six foot-three (and a half, get the facts  straight) bunny named Harvey.

It really is a pretty charming film, a good fantasy, and still has comedy that works to this day. Some of it definitely would have worked better in its day, which would be better if I viewed it a few decades ago. I really rather enjoyed it though, as I do like old cinema, but I’m not sure how much it will stick out in my memory – but it really was quite enjoyable at the time.

I don’t know if I’d watch it again, as it feels more like a one-time viewing.

Some of the plot got really ridiculous at times, but a lot of it was needed to add to the general silliness of the flick, I know I was smiling a lot during.

James Stewart is a real pleasure to watch. Some of the other actors aren’t that great (like practically the rest of the whole cast, with the exception of Josephine Hull). Peggy Dow, Charles Drake and Cecil Kellaway also appear in this film.

If you like old cinema, or if you like James Stewart, you should give this one a watch.

70/100

 

Rope – A Film Review by Daniel Prinn – A good Hitchcock flick

Rope Poster

Rope

Release Date: August 23, 1948

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Stars: James Stewart, John Dall, Farley Granger

Runtime: 80 min

Tagline: Nothing ever held you like Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope.

It’s a pretty sweet film.

Brandon (John Dall) and Phillip (Farley Granger) are two young men who have always wondered what it would be like to kill someone. After they strangle an inferior classmate, David (Dick Hogan), they invite over his family and friends as a means to test their perfect crime, and also an old brilliant schoolteacher played admirably and stunningly by James Stewart; all while the body is in a chest in the middle of the apartment.

It’s an interesting and entertaining fight of wits, between Brandon and Rupert, as Brandon drops subtle hints of the murder to see if Rupert would pick up on them. And then Phillip’s just a nervous mess with high anxiety over in the corner.

Most of it is extremely entertaining, and a lot of it is really suspenseful. It really kept me guessing, and a lot of it is pretty intense. It’s an 80 minute experience that feels longer than it is, and Hitchcock shot the film in a really interesting fashion. He only used about ten takes throughout the whole film (if the trivia proves accurate), ranging from four to ten minutes. This fashion makes you feel like you’re watching a play because of the one set, and the editing and how it looks like the film’s just all ongoing.

The performances are pretty good from the majority of the cast, their performances feel genuine and not like they’re in it for the money, John Dall and Farley Granger did a good job, and James Stewart stands out the most, though, with a really great performance.

The film could have been better paced, it isn’t perfect but it’s enjoyable. I caught it on TV, and it was an interesting experience, but if I saw it at a store I’m not sure if I’d buy the film, as I’m not sure if I’d be apt to experience this flick again anytime soon.

The film also stars Edith Evanson, Douglas Dick, Cedric Hardwicke, Joan Chandler, and Constance Collier (who I wish could have gotten strangled, she was so irritating, in the case that I am thinking of the correct annoying character).

Hitchcock really does deliver us an entertaining experience, with the way that he films the thing making it, and the performance given by Stewart, the most memorable aspects of the film.

75/100