The Narrative Techniques Used by Hitchcock in Rear Window
L.B. Jeffries is a high-class magazine photographer for what seems to
be a worldwide publication. In Alfred Hitchcock's 'Rear Window', he is
a temporarily wheelchair-bound man and his voyeuristic side appears
later on in the film.
'Rear Window' depicts a 20th century New York in which fraudsters,
murderers and salesmen all live alongside each other. The story
describes a man who broke his leg during a photography assignment. He
is, for the time being, stuck in a wheelchair with nothing to do but
look at the neighbours through his 'Rear Window'. He hasn't seen the
light of day since seven weeks ago.
Rear Window is one of Alfred Hitchcock's most memorable films. L.B.
Jeffries becomes engrossed in voyeurism, which carries on throughout
the film. James Stewart, in one of his most unforgettable roles,
represents a photographer with a broken leg, who amuses himself by
casually spying on the neighbours. All of the windows he peers into
presents a glimpse of relationships, in which the men and women are
poles-apart, the newlyweds who can't get themselves off of each other,
the crooked salesman, the forlorn musician. These become mirrors into
his mind, reflecting his apprehension he feels about his bond with the
fashion-writer Lisa Carol Fremont who wants him to get married. Rear
Window gets even more enthralling as it moves to an excruciatingly
The opening scene, the credit sequence, creates an image in people's
minds of a new day, people waking up on a summer morning. We know it
is summer as there are people waking up on their balconies of their
apartments. This is also shown by the radio playing at the start in
the background. This is also why there are blinds rolling upwards
throughout the duration of the credit sequence. This also shows that
it is the start of the story. The window fills the whole frame of the
shot. This is a good way of setting the scene for the viewers.
Old-style joyous jazz music is played at the start - a good way of
portraying happy times. The opening scene in Rear Window has no
dialogue, leaving even more of the viewers in a pool of anticipation.
The scene highlights the fact that every single thing in the film will
be seen through that particular window.
Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window is a great example of first-rate
camerawork. The camera is used as the narrator and probably plays the
biggest role within the film. At the start of the film, the camera is
used to pan around every single apartment within the inner city New
York apartment block to introduce the characters. Although the
characters do not speak, they still play a major role in the film.
Alfred Hitchcock puts the viewers in the position of L.B Jeffries,
making us all voyeurs. The camera is used to tell the...