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Author Topic: Rear Window (1954)  (Read 683 times)
Christopher
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« Reply #20 on: October 05, 2018, 07:12:59 AM »

On another note, did we ever find out why the dog had to die? What was in the flower bed?
I always figured a body part was in the hat box. Possibly the wife's head? Certainly a ghoulish thought!

The knife and the saw. He moved them before the ladies came to investigate, because the dog had gotten too nosy.
Oh! Maybe I missed that detail apparently!
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KC
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« Reply #21 on: October 05, 2018, 07:34:21 PM »

I'll have to recheck that detail in the dialogue ... maybe it IS the head.
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KC
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« Reply #22 on: October 05, 2018, 08:19:02 PM »

OK, they discuss whether it could be "Mrs. Thorwald" buried in the flower bed. Stella says "Mr. Thorwald could hardly put his wife's body in a plot of ground about one foot square. Unless of course he put her in standing on end. Then he wouldn't need a knife and a saw." But there's something buried there, as Jeff demonstrates with some recent shots of the flower bed. Lisa then allows as how it might be precisely "the knife, and the saw." Jeff lures Thorwald away from the apartment so Lisa and Stella can look. They dig up the flower bed, but find nothing. That detail is left hanging until the end, when there's this exchange:

Quote
DOYLE (to DETECTIVE): Did he say what was buried in the flower bed?

DETECTIVE: Yeah.  He said the dog got too inquisitive, so he dug it up. It's in a hat box, over in his apartment.

DOYLE (to STELLA): Wanna look?

STELLA: No thanks—I don't want any part of her. (She does a take, wide-eyed. Fade to black.)

That's the end of the main part of the movie. It's followed by the epilogue, later on when it's cooled off, and Jeff now has both legs in a cast.

So yes, I think we are supposed to assume it might be the head! Typical for Hitchcock's macabre humor.  ;D

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KC
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« Reply #23 on: October 05, 2018, 10:32:05 PM »

We can't let this discussion come to an end without this (starting at 44 seconds in):

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/A7y2bvanXRQ" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/A7y2bvanXRQ</a>

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v//vrST-OffHKc" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v//vrST-OffHKc</a>


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Matt
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« Reply #24 on: October 06, 2018, 09:18:15 AM »

 ;D Literally laughed out loud at Maude Flanders' explanation of where she was for a week. This is awesome. Thanks for posting!
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Matt
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« Reply #25 on: October 06, 2018, 01:43:02 PM »

Anyone?

Okay, I give up! I even scanned through it again. The only scenes that we see the neighbors closer up is through Jeff's telephoto camera lens.
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Matt
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« Reply #26 on: October 06, 2018, 02:15:40 PM »

Going back to the Hitchcock cameo -- Christopher might be interested in knowing what the pianist/composer did with his life after Rear Window.



It's music related (if you can call it that).
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Doug
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« Reply #27 on: October 06, 2018, 03:17:53 PM »

Okay, I give up! I even scanned through it again. The only scenes that we see the neighbors closer up is through Jeff's telephoto camera lens.

I'm pretty sure KC is referring to the scene when the woman discovers her dog has been killed.
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"Yes, well, when I see five weirdos dressed in togas stabbing a guy in the middle of a park in full view of a hundred people, I shoot the bastards, that's my policy."  Frank Drebin, Police Squad.
Doug
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« Reply #28 on: October 06, 2018, 03:27:22 PM »

Here's the scene:

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/DKCGcHQSvHw" target="_blank" class="new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/DKCGcHQSvHw</a>

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"Yes, well, when I see five weirdos dressed in togas stabbing a guy in the middle of a park in full view of a hundred people, I shoot the bastards, that's my policy."  Frank Drebin, Police Squad.
Matt
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« Reply #29 on: October 06, 2018, 03:58:19 PM »

Is it? It's still as seen from Jeff's apartment -- though the camera is zoomed in closer and Lisa and Jeff aren't looking through binoculars or the camera lens. We don't see anything in that shot that couldn't be seen from Jeff's vantage point.
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Matt
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« Reply #30 on: October 06, 2018, 04:10:10 PM »

I wanted to just give a little appreciation for the red circle filter Hitchcock used to show us Thorwald's point of view after Jeff's flashbulb blinds him. (Wait, that isn't from Jeff's point of view - could it be the shot KC was referring to?)



It might look a little bit cheesy today, but if you've been blinded by a flash in a dark room, it brings back memories of what you really do see within those few seconds of adjustment. So I thought it was very effectively done.
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AKA23
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« Reply #31 on: October 06, 2018, 05:00:21 PM »

I thought the scene KC was referring to may have had something to do with the flowers. L.B. and Lisa mention that the flowers seemed a different height than before, which gave them an idea that something might be buried within them, but I don't recall us every seeing the height of the flowers before. This seemed like an objective, rather than subjective, aspect that was discussed that was not previously shown. At least, I didn't notice it!

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Christopher
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« Reply #32 on: October 08, 2018, 06:45:27 AM »

Going back to the Hitchcock cameo -- Christopher might be interested in knowing what the pianist/composer did with his life after Rear Window.



It's music related (if you can call it that).
I'm intrigued to find out now.
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Matt
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« Reply #33 on: October 08, 2018, 11:32:47 AM »

I'm intrigued to find out now.

In case you had any trouble (you could have probably looked on the back of one of your favorite albums):



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Christopher
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« Reply #34 on: October 09, 2018, 11:32:55 AM »

He wrote music for Alvin and the Chipmunks?! :D

And I don't know that I have any Chipmunk albums. ;D My family does have the Christmas one.
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Matt
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« Reply #35 on: October 09, 2018, 06:58:43 PM »

He wrote music for Alvin and the Chipmunks?! :D


More than that -- he was the creator of the Chipmunks, and the original voice of all three Chipmunks!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ross_Bagdasarian_Sr.
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Matt
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« Reply #36 on: October 09, 2018, 07:00:03 PM »

I just watched Rear Window for the I-don't-know-how-many-th time, and caught something I don't think I ever noticed before. Almost all the film is shot from within Jeff's apartment, with the camera looking at him, or looking at Lisa or Stella or Doyle from his point of view, or looking out the window, again from Jeff's point of view as he studies the exploits of his neighbors. As Doug said a few posts up ...
But there is one scene when Hitchcock breaks out and actually takes the camera up close so we can see the neighbors more clearly ... shifting from a subjective to an objective point of view, if you will. It's a key scene in the movie, maybe THE key scene in the movie, and it involves not something we see, but something we don't see.

Does anyone know the scene I mean?


We are ready for the big reveal!
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Christopher
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« Reply #37 on: October 10, 2018, 11:27:28 AM »

More than that -- he was the creator of the Chipmunks, and the original voice of all three Chipmunks!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ross_Bagdasarian_Sr.
Wow, and his stage name was David Seville! I'm not even sure if I ever realized the Chipmunks were created in 1958! I grew up with the 1980s series.
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KC
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« Reply #38 on: October 10, 2018, 10:43:34 PM »

I'm pretty sure KC is referring to the scene when the woman discovers her dog has been killed.

Is it? It's still as seen from Jeff's apartment -- though the camera is zoomed in closer and Lisa and Jeff aren't looking through binoculars or the camera lens. We don't see anything in that shot that couldn't be seen from Jeff's vantage point.

We are ready for the big reveal!

I started to answer this a few days ago, then got distracted by baseball for a while. No more of that this year!

Doug nailed it. But looking back through the film, I admit I was wrong. There are, in fact, a number of other scenes where the camera is quite close on the neighbors and their activities, closer than Jeff could be without aid of binoculars or his gigantic telephoto lens, which he's not using at the time. Notably the shot at the beginning of the film, when the camera leisurely pans around all the windows at the other side of the courtyard, finally swinging around to show us ... Jeff, fast asleep in his wheelchair, and not even looking out the window.

However, this scene still stands out, for a number of reasons.

1) It breaks abruptly into a rare moment when Jeff and Lisa are absorbed in each other, not paying any attention to the dramas across the way. Indeed, the blinds are drawn. When the neighbor whose dog has been killed screams, Lisa opens the blinds, and this is what they see:


2) There follows an abrupt cut to this shot of the same anguished neighbor who was seen in long shot an instant earlier:


The effect is similar to a zoom shot, a technique not then in use in movies, since the necessary lenses weren't yet available, and which would be so overworked in the decade or so after it was introduced that Godard called it "the Enemy No. 1 of cinema." But here it serves to pull the spectator's attention abruptly away from Jeff's and Lisa's moment of intimacy and into the midst of the drama across the way.

3) There follows a quick montage of reaction shots from the neighbors, all of them at a similar distance, that is with the camera much closer than Jeff's or Lisa's POV. I don't think most of the earlier "objective" shots are as close as we get here, certainly not to so many of the neighbors in quick succession. Here's a couple of others.







All of this serves to throw into sharp relief Jeff's observation, when the little drama is over and most of the neighbors have turned away: "In the whole courtyard, only one person didn't come to the window." That would be Thorwald. Another shot shows us his darkened apartment window, his presence barely made known by the glow of a cigar:



This is the turning point of the movie, where Jeff attains near-certainty of Thorwald's guilt, and where most spectators will be similarly convinced. In a movie some analysts have declared to be mostly about voyeurism, it's very ingenious of Hitchcock to make such a point of showing us these now-familiar characters so much closer than usual, then have the focus of the scene be on something we DON'T see.
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Matt
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« Reply #39 on: October 13, 2018, 06:13:29 PM »


This is the turning point of the movie, where Jeff attains near-certainty of Thorwald's guilt, and where most spectators will be similarly convinced. In a movie some analysts have declared to be mostly about voyeurism, it's very ingenious of Hitchcock to make such a point of showing us these now-familiar characters so much closer than usual, then have the focus of the scene be on something we DON'T see.

 O0 That's a great point! 
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