Rear Window Parent Guide
A taut, well imagined psychological thriller that makes a great introduction to Hitchcock's work.
Parent Movie Review
In Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 suspense thriller Rear Window, James Stewart is cast as L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries, a world traveling action photographer convalescing a broken leg. As he endures a month of confinement in his modest and stiflingly hot apartment, mind-numbing boredom ensues. Biding his time watching the tenants who live across the courtyard, Jeff uses his telescopic photo lens to facilitate his peeping tom compulsion. Soon Jeff is convinced his neighbor Lars Thorwald (Raymond Burr) is responsible for the disappearance of Mrs. Thorwald, his invalid wife.
Concerned about her boyfriend’s obsession, socialite Lisa (Grace Kelly) struggles to come to terms with his “rear window ethics” until circumstances bring the suspected murder and her relationship with Jeff into sharp focus. Together they discover that the once mundane little world outside their window has become deceptively intricate, and things develop faster than they could have imagined.
Younger children may be better off tucked in bed, as the film’s subject matter is a little intense for them. Although this is a murder mystery, the scenes of violence (pushing, shoving, falling) are minimal, using the viewers’ imagination instead. A few segments contain some extremely mild sexuality. On one occasion, Jeff’s girlfriend surprises him with an overnight bag containing lingerie, and a young voluptuous dancer Jeff calls “Miss Torso” overexposes her frame by stretching and bending while wearing only 1950’s style undergarments (in a brief scene we see her bare back).
Parents and their older kids will appreciate the well-constructed witty story and stellar acting performances that earned this movie four Academy Award nominations including best director. Not as horrific as some of his films, Rear Window is a good introduction to Hitchcock’s work. And don’t forget to show this new generation of fans the adult version of “Where’s Waldo”—the master of suspense always included a cameo appearance in each of his productions.
Created back when you didn’t need millions of dollars worth special effects to capture the audiences’ attention, Rear Window, shot on a single set, holds us in delicious anticipation in what is perhaps Alfred Hitchcock’s finest film.Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Starring James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Raymond Burr.. Running time: 115 minutes. Theatrical release August 1, 1954. Updated May 8, 2020
Watch the trailer for Rear Window
Rating & Content Info
Why is Rear Window rated PG? Rear Window is rated PG by the MPAA Re-rated in 1983. Rated "Approved" when released in 1954.
With his leg and hip in a cast, an apartment bound photographer uses his camera lens to spy on neighbors. With minimal violence and few scenes with sexuality, parents and teens will appreciate one of Alfred Hitchcock’s finest murder mysteries.
An idle threat to “Put your eyes out with a red hot poker” is mentioned. Characters converse about ways to dismember a human body. Character shown concealing a saw and knife in newspaper. Man falls through balcony window. Woman slaps man’s face. A scream and breaking glass is heard. Dead dog shown. Man grabs woman’s arms and pushes her to floor. Two characters fight. Character falls from window.
Sexual Content: C
Topless woman seen from behind. Woman dancing in modest underwear shown many times. Women sunbathing nude (not shown). Couple kisses and hugs frequently. Discussion about whether or not a “shotgun wedding” is required. Man in boxers shown. Implied sexual relationship between unmarried couple. Newlywed couple depicted as being very “busy.” Man makes unwelcome sexual advances at woman.
Alcohol / Drug Use: C
Smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol through out. Woman lays out pills intended for an overdose. Man stumbles about while drunk.
Page last updated May 8, 2020
Rear Window Parents' Guide
In one scene Lisa breaks into an apartment in order to find incriminating evidence. Is it justifiable to commit a crime if the results help solve another?
How would you feel if you were one of the neighbors Jeff watched? How might our behavior change if we were aware of being observed? Should hidden cameras be permitted in shopping malls or at the work place?
Loved this movie? Try these books…
There are a lot of great reading options in the psychological thriller genre. Thomas Harris' "The Silence of the Lambs" follows plucky FBI trainee Clarice Starling as she interviews a serial killer, using his vague hints and dangerous questions to track down another killer. "Shutter Island" by Dennis Lehane takes place in a remote mental hospital, where Federal Marshal Teddy Daniels and his partner have been called in to find a missing patient...only to find that there may be more missing than just a lunatic. Or, for an even tighter space, Stephen King's "Misery" unfolds almost entirely in the cabin of Annie Wilkes, whose dreams have all come true when she finds her favourite author dying in the snow, and brings him back to health. For the author, though, the situation is a complete nightmare.
In Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca, a young wife begins to question her perspective on her life and her husband.
Gossipy neighbors hold the clues in the Miss Marple books written by Agatha Christie. Readers who want to learn more about this elderly spinster detective with a nose for gossip can try A Murder is Announced, The Body in the Library, The Murder at the Vicarage, and The Moving Finger.
The most recent home video release of Rear Window movie is May 6, 2014. Here are some details…
Related home video titles:
Rear Window is available in DVD and on streaming platforms.
Also suitable for teens is Hitchcock’s Dial M for Murder. Once again starring Grace Kelly, this movie revolves around a fiendish plot constructed by a man to punish his unfaithful wife.