Wendell Corey

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Sorry, Wrong Number Review


OK
Barbara Stanwyck stars in this classic noir of a bedridden woman with a heart condition who discovers a murder plot during an errant phone call. Imagine her surprise when she turns out to be the potential victim! Rather straigtforward for a "mystery," but notable in that virtually every scene involves a phone call (Sorry, Wrong Number was originally a radio play). A precursor to the far better Rear Window, but noir has seen better days.

Rear Window Review


Essential
Not only is Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window one of his best pictures, it's one of the best films ever made altogether.

The master craftsmanship on display (placing virtually the entire film within the confines of the apartment of hobbled photographer L.B. Jeffries -- the inimitable James Stewart -- referred to as "J.B. Jeffries" on the back of the DVD case) has few parallels in modern cinema. The story by John Michael Hayes is one of Hitch's simplest yet most gripping: Jeffries spies the cleanup of a supposed murder across the way from his Manhattan apartment -- a sinister Raymond Burr cleaning knives and whatnot. He tells his girlfriend (Grace Kelly) and she laughs. His nurse (the unforgettable Thelma Ritter) mocks him also, urging him to marry instead of peeping out the window at strangers. But slowly, the truth is revealed, and even his most ardent naysayers join in the plot to uncover the reality of what happened in the apartment across the way. By the end of the picture, Kelly is prepared to break into Burr's apartment via fire escape because she's certain of what has happened inside.

Continue reading: Rear Window Review

Rear Window Review


Excellent

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.

Continue reading: Rear Window Review

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