Trivia Compiled By: Ken Hulsey
Sources: IMDB / Wikipedia
Rear Window is a 1954 American suspense film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, written by John Michael Hayes and based on Cornell Woolrich's 1942 short story "It Had to Be Murder". Originally released by Paramount Pictures, the film stars James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey, and Thelma Ritter.
All of the sound in the film is diegetic, meaning that all the music, speech and other sounds all come from within the world of the film with the exception of non-diegetic orchestral music heard in the first three shots of the film.
The entire picture was shot on one set, which required months of planning and construction. The apartment-courtyard set measured 98 feet wide, 185 feet long and 40 feet high, and consisted of 31 apartments, eight of which were completely furnished. The courtyard was set 20 to 30 feet below stage level, and some of the buildings were the equivalent of five or six stories high. The film was shot quickly on the heels of Dial M for Murder, November 27 1953-February 26 1954. At the time the set was the largest indoor set built at Paramount Studios. The size of the set necessitated excavation of the soundstage floor. Thus Jeff's apartment was actually at street level.
All the apartments in Thorwald's building had electricity and running water, and could be lived in. In fact during the month-long shoot Georgine Darcy, who played "Miss Torso", "lived" in her apartment all day, relaxing between takes as if really at home.
One thousand arc lights were used to simulate sunlight. Thanks to extensive pre-lighting of the set, the crew could make the changeover from day to night in under forty-five minutes.
While shooting, Alfred Hitchcock worked only in Jeff's "apartment." The actors in other apartments wore flesh-colored earpieces so that he could radio his directions to them.
The love affair between war photographer Robert Capa and actress Ingrid Bergman is believed to be Alfred Hitchcock's inspiration for the film's romantic aspect.
The 35mm camera that James Stewart holds with the huge telephoto lens attached is an early 1950s Exakta VX (also known as the "Varex" outside the USA) manufactured in Dresden, (east) Germany. The lens is a 400mm Kilfitt. The Paramount property department purposely covered over the name with black masking tape.
The film was inspired in part by the real-life murder case of Patrick Mahon. In 1924, in Sussex, England, Mahon murdered his pregnant mistress, Emily Kaye, and dismembered her body. In the modern interview, Alfred Hitchcock claimed that Mahon threw the body parts out of a train window piece by piece and burned the head in his fireplace. Another modern source, however, states that Mahon quartered the body and stored it in a large trunk, then removed internal organs, putting some in biscuit tins and a hatbox and boiling others on the stove.
In addition to Mahon, Alfred Hitchcock noted in the modern interview that the 1910 case of Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen also served as an inspiration for the film. Crippen, an American living in London, poisoned his wife and cut up her body, then told police that she had moved to Los Angeles. Crippen was eventually caught after his secretary, with whom he was having an affair, was seen wearing Mrs. Crippen's jewelry, and a family friend searched unsuccessfully for Mrs. Crippen in California. After Scotland Yard became involved, Crippen and his mistress fled England under false names and were apprehended on an ocean liner. Police found parts of Mrs. Crippen's body in her cellar.
At one point, the voice of Bing Crosby can be heard singing "To See You Is to Love You", originally from the 1952 Paramount film Road to Bali. Also heard on the soundtrack are versions of songs popularized earlier in the decade by Nat King Cole ("Mona Lisa", 1950) and Dean Martin ("That's Amore", 1952), along with segments from Leonard Bernstein's score for Jerome Robbins's ballet Fancy Free (1944), Richard Rodgers's song "Lover" (1932), and "M'appari tutt'amor" from Friedrich von Flotow's opera Martha (1844).
A "benefit world premiere" for the film, with United Nations officials and "prominent members of the social and entertainment worlds" in attendance, was held on August 4, 1954 in New York City, with proceeds going to the American-Korean Foundation (an aid organization founded soon after the end of the Korean War and headed by President Eisenhower's brother). The film received overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics and is considered one of Hitchcock's finest films.
Hitchcock's fans and film scholars have taken particular interest in the way the relationship between Jeff and Lisa can be compared to the lives of the neighbors they are spying upon. The film invites speculation as to which of these paths Jeff and Lisa will follow. Many of these points are considered in Tania Modleski's feminist theory book, The Women Who Knew Too Much.
The film received four Academy Award nominations: Best Director for Alfred Hitchcock, Best Screenplay for John Michael Hayes, Best Cinematography, Color for Robert Burks, and Best Sound Recording for Loren L. Ryder, Paramount Pictures
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Condition: Near Mint CGC / PGX: Modern Age Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment Country/Region of Manufacture: United States Main C...
Thanks to Tim Knight for bringing this one to my attention. It's a question that Chinese film makers decided to tackle: "What...