Seeing the restored "Rear Window" on the big screen again gave me goose bumps. This voyeuristic mystery is a masterpiece of meticulous detail -- the kind of detail that just doesn't come across on a TV, I don't care how big the screen or how sharp the picture.
All but four of the characters spend the entire movie 50 feet away from the audience's vantage point. They have little audible dialogue. Yet Alfred Hitchcock, genius that he was, managed to portray the littlest nuances of their personalities as James Stewart -- our bored, peeping hero, laid up with a broken leg in his sweltering New York flat -- spies on them all in their apartments from his window.
The story, of course, centers around stir-crazy Stewart's intense scrutiny of one of these neighbors, after witnessing the aftermath of a possible murder. Raymond Burr (sporting badly dyed gray hair), plays a scowling, barrel-chested salesman who steps out several times late one night carrying very heavy luggage and returns with the same bags much lighter. When his bickering, bed-ridden wife is conspicuously absent the next morning, Stewart's analytical imagination goes into overdrive.
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