Voyeurism and suspense: those with even a passing knowledge of Alfred Hitchcock likely associate his body of work with those descriptors. Rear Window, a dazzling jewel in his directorial crown, was influential in crystallizing both predilections years before Hitchcock turned his mind toward the nefarious violence hidden within the Bates Motel walls. Routinely cited as one of the best films ever made, Rear Window was Hitchcock’s most contained, restrained, and effective thriller to date and an explicit metaphor for cinema doubling as an act of voyeurism. Hitchcock’s keen expertise for empathetic tension was this time turned toward making the audience as complicit as the watchful characters. That technique flung the doors wide open for the paranoia thriller to spread its wings, and filmmaking never looked back.
Starring Jimmy Stewart, Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window was a fearless display of voyeurism and suspense, changing the paranoia genre forever.