Cover image for Hitchcock's Rear window : the well-made film
Hitchcock's Rear window : the well-made film
Fawell, John Wesley, 1959-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Carbondale : Southern Illinois University Press, [2001]

Physical Description:
179 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
List of plates -- Acknowledgments -- [ch.] 1. Introduction -- [ch.] 2. Rear window's unity : freedom through constraint -- [ch.] 3. Escaping Jeff : non-point of view shots -- [ch.] 4. Jeff, Hitchcock's emasculated hero -- [ch.] 5. Playing the windows game -- [ch.] 6. Playing the windows game 2 : the lonely hearts -- [ch.] 7. The feel of loneliness -- [ch.] 8. Hitchcock's self-reflexivity -- [ch.] 9. Jeff as Hitchcock -- Notes -- Bibliography -- Index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
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Item Holds
PN1997.R353 F38 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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In the process of providing an extensive analysis of Alfred Hitchcock's ""Rear Window"", John Fawell also dismantles many myths and cliches about Hitchcock, particularly in regard to his attitude toward women. Although ""Rear Window"" masquerade's quite successfully as a piece of light entertainment, Fawell demonstrates just how complex the film really is. It is a film in which Hitchcock, the consummate virtuoso, was in full command of his technique. One of Hitchcock's favourite films, ""Rear Window"" offered the ideal venue for the great director to fully use the tricks and ideas he acquired over his previous three decades of filmmaking. Yet technique alone did not make this classic film great; one of Hitchcock's most personal films, ""Rear Window"" is characterized by great depth of feeling. It offers glimpses of a sensibility at odds with the image Hitchcock created for himself - that of the grand ghoul of cinema who mocks his audience with a slick and sadistic style. Though Hitchcock is often labelled a misanthrope and misogynist, Fawell finds evidence in ""Rear Window"" of a sympathy for the loneliness that leads to voyeurism and crime, as well as an empathy for the film's women. Fawell emphasizes a more feeling, humane spirit than either Hitchcock's critics have granted him or Hitchcock himself admitted to, and does so in a manner of interest to film scholars and general readers alike.

Author Notes

John Fawell is an associate professor in the Department of Humanities at the College of General Studies, Boston University.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Fawell (humanities and general studies, Boston Univ.) exposes Rear Window from every angle, literally and figuratively. He analyzes its characters, themes, dialogue, cinematic conventions, and performances; compares those components to aspects of other Hitchcock pictures; links the film to 1950s culture; and traces shifts in its critical reception. Especially good at revealing cinematic space, Fawell shows how Hitchcock's general restriction of camera mobility to the point-of-view of his wheelchair-bound hero heightens the picture's emotional and psychological dynamics. The book has some shortcomings, however. Occasionally, the film wobbles under the weight of Fawell's exaggerated claims ("After Rear Window, a walk in one's neighborhood is never quite the same"). The author cannot resist statements of the obvious ("Hitchcock knew that there was a dark side in us") or the absurd ("At least Lars cares enough about a woman to kill for her. Jeff will not even invite Lisa to stay the night"). His rescue of Hitchcock from charges of misogyny and inhumanity is less original than he maintains. And references to essays in the excellent collection edited by John Belton, Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window (2000), require clearer delineation of their impact on his own thinking. Still, this is an excellent assimilation, if not a groundbreaking reading. All film collections. M. W. Estrin Rhode Island College

Table of Contents

List of Platesp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
1. Introductionp. 1
2. Rear Window's Unity: Freedom Through Constraintp. 16
3. Escaping Jeff: Non-Point of View Shotsp. 41
4. Jeff, Hitchcock's Emasculated Herop. 49
5. Playing the Windows Gamep. 72
6. Playing the Windows Game 2: The Lonely Heartsp. 91
7. The Feel of Lonelinessp. 110
8. Hitchcock's Self-Reflexivityp. 123
9. Jeff as Hitchcockp. 135
Notesp. 159
Bibliographyp. 169
Indexp. 175