Rear Window (1954) » Trivia


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# # SPOILER: In addition to Mahon, Alfred Hitchc*ck noted in the modern interview that the 1910 case of Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen also served as an inspiration for the film. Crippen, an American living in London, poisoned his wife and cut up her body, then told police that she had moved to Los Angeles. Crippen was eventually caught after his secretary, with whom he was having an affair, was seen wearing Mrs. Crippen`s jewelry, and a family friend searched unsuccessfully for Mrs. Crippen in California. After Scotland Yard became involved, Crippen and his mistress fled England under false names and were apprehended on an ocean liner. Police found parts of Mrs. Crippen`s body in her cellar.

SPOILER: The film was inspired in part by the real-life murder case of Patrick Mahon. In 1924, in Sussex, England, Mahon murdered his pregnant mistress, Emily Kaye, and dismembered her body. In the modern interview, Alfred Hitchc*ck claimed that Mahon threw the body parts out of a train window piece by piece and burned the head in his fireplace. Another modern source, however, states that Mahon quartered the body and stored it in a large trunk, then removed internal organs, putting some in biscuit tins and a hatbox and boiling others on the stove.

SPOILER: Other than a couple of shots near the end and the discovery of the dead dog, all the shots in the movie originate from Jeff`s apartment.

Neil Patrick Harris` favorite movie.

Joe Flynn was cast in the movie, but his scene was cut.

# # The 35mm camera that James Stewart holds with the huge telephoto lens attached is an early 1950s Exakta Varex VX manufactured in Dresden, Germany. The Paramount property department purposely covered over the name with black masking tape.

Ranked #3 on the American Film Institute`s list of the 10 greatest films in the genre "Mystery" in June 2008.

2007: The American Film Institute ranked this as the #48 Greatest Movie of All Time.

The song "To See You Is to Love You" from the Paramount production Road to Bali (1952) written by Johnny Burke and Jimmy Van Heusen and sung by Bing Crosby, is playing when Jeff toasts Miss Lonely Hearts.

Screenwriter John Michael Hayes based Lisa on his own wife, who`d been a professional fashion model when they married.

The entire picture was shot on one set, which required months of planning and construction. The apartment-courtyard set measured 98 feet wide, 185 feet long and 40 feet high, and consisted of 31 apartments, eight of which were completely furnished. The courtyard was set 20 to 30 feet below stage level, and some of the buildings were the equivalent of five or six stories high.

Once during the filming, the lights were so hot that they set off the soundstage sprinkler system.

The songs heard on the soundtrack are all from earlier Paramount features, including Captain Carey, U.S.A. (1950), Mr. Music (1950), Road to Bali (1952), and Red Garters (1954).

All the apartments in Thorwald`s building had electricity and running water, and could be lived in.

Director Cameo: [Alfred Hitchc*ck] about a half hour into the film, winding the clock in the songwriter`s apartment. The songwriter is real-life songwriter Ross Bagdasarian.

Franz Waxman`s score recycles music from older scores of his, among them A Place in the Sun (1951) and Elephant Walk (1954).

The film was unavailable for decades because its rights (together with four other pictures of the same period) were bought back by Alfred Hitchc*ck and left as part of his legacy to his daughter. They`ve been known for long as the infamous "Five Lost Hitchc*cks" among film buffs, and were re-released in theatres around 1984 after a 30-year absence. The others are The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), Rope (1948), The Trouble with Harry (1955), and Vertigo (1958). However, prior to the theatrical re-releases in the 1980`s, "Rear Window" was televised once, in 1971, on ABC, although the network technically did not have the legal right to do so.

One thousand arc lights were used to simulate sunlight. Thanks to extensive pre-lighting of the set, the crew could make the changeover from day to night in under forty-five minutes.

# # While shooting, Alfred Hitchc*ck worked only in Jeff`s "apartment." The actors in other apartments wore flesh-colored earpieces so that he could radio his directions to them.

The love affair between war photographer Robert Capa and actress Ingrid Bergman is believed to be Alfred Hitchc*ck`s inspiration for the film`s romantic aspect.

During the month-long shoot Georgine Darcy, who played "Miss Torso", "lived" in her apartment all day, relaxing between takes as if really at home.

The size of the set necessitated excavation of the soundstage floor. Thus Jeff`s apartment was actually at street level.

At the time the set was the largest indoor set built at Paramount Studios.

All of the sound in the film is diegetic, meaning that all the music, speech and other sounds all come from within the world of the film.

Alfred Hitchc*ck supposedly hired Raymond Burr to play Lars Thorwald because he could be easily made to look like his old producer David O. Selznick, who Alfred Hitchc*ck felt interfered too much.


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