Hitchcock's Rear Window Finally Comes to otsoNY
Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 mystery thriller “Rear Window” finally comes to otsoNY this week.
Originally released by Paramount Pictures, the film stars James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey, Thelma Ritter and Raymond Burr, and is considered by many filmgoers, critics and scholars to be one of Hitchcock's best and one of the greatest movies ever made. otsoNY has shied away from posting it due to the fact that it wasn’t shot in New York City but instead entirely at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles, California. However, as the indoor set replicated that of a Greenwich Village courtyard the film has now been granted a place in the Film Location section of the website.
Set designers Hal Pereira and Joseph MacMillan Johnson spent six weeks building the extremely detailed and complex set, which ended up being the largest of its kind at Paramount. One of the unique features of the set was its massive drainage system, constructed in order to accommodate the rain sequence in the film. They also built the set around a highly-nuanced lighting system which was able to create natural-looking lighting effects for both the day and night scenes. Even though the address given in the film was 125 W. Ninth Street in New York's Greenwich Village, the set was actually based on a real courtyard located at 125 Christopher Street.
In addition to the meticulous care and detail put into the set, there was also careful attention given to sound, including the use of natural sounds and music that would drift across the courtyard and into Jefferies' apartment. 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 popularised earlier in the decade by Nat King Cole and Dean Martin, along with segments from Leonard Bernstein's score for Jerome Robbins' ballet Fancy Free, Richard Rodgers' song "Lover", and "M'appari tutt'amor" from Friedrich von Flotow's opera Martha, most borrowed from Paramount's music publisher, Famous Music.
The film received four Academy Award nominations and was ranked No. 42 on AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies list and No. 48 on the 10th-anniversary edition. In 1997, Rear Window was added to the United States National Film Registry in the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
Grace Kelly was born on November 12, 1929 and died in September 14, 1982. She was an American actress who became Princess of Monaco after marrying Prince Rainier III, in April 1956.
After embarking on an acting career in 1950, at age 20, Kelly appeared in New York City theatrical productions and more than 40 episodes of live drama productions broadcast during the early 1950s Golden Age of Television. In October 1953, she gained stardom from her performance in the film Mogambo, which won her a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award nomination in 1954.
Subsequently, she had leading roles in five films, including The Country Girl (1954), for which her deglamorized performance earned her an Academy Award for Best Actress. Other films include High Noon (1952) with Gary Cooper, Dial M for Murder (1954) with Ray Milland, Rear Window (1954) with James Stewart, To Catch a Thief (1955) with Cary Grant, and High Society (1956) with Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby.
Kelly retired from acting at the age of 26 to marry Rainier and began her duties as Princess of Monaco. They had three children: Caroline, Albert II, and Stéphanie. Kelly retained her American roots, maintaining dual U.S. and Monégasque citizenship. Sadly, she died on September 14, 1982, a day after suffering a stroke while driving her car, which caused a crash.
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