James Stewart Weekend – Rear Window (1954)

rearDirector: Alfred Hitchcock

Writer: John Michael Hayes (Screenplay) Cornell Wollrich (Short Story)

Starring: James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey, Thelma Ritter, Raymond Burr, Judith Evelyn

 

Plot: A wheelchair-bound photographer spies on his neighbours from his apartment window and becomes convinced one of them has committed murder.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Vintage Suspense Thriller

 

Story: Rear Window starts as L.B. Jeff Jefferies (Stewart) stuck in his apartment with a broken leg who has been spending his time watching his neighbours waiting to heel up. Jeff gets daily visits from his nurse Stella (Ritter) who offers him life advice when it comes to Jeff’s love life with the beautiful and in his words perfect Lisa (Kelly) who wants to settle down but Jeff just can’t see it happening.

When one of his neighbours goes missing and Jeff sees the husband leave 3 times during the night he becomes suspicious that something much more foul has come into play. Jeff brings in Lisa to help look for clues but what can they find out?

 

Thoughts on Rear Window

 

StoryWe have seen films that have overcomplicated stories and become a mess this film here keeps everything very simple as one man is trying to solve a potential murder from his apartment. The story follows how he must figure out what has happened without being able to go and see himself which is all good too keep us on edge.

Mystery/Thriller When you look for a good mystery film this one does keep you guessing throughout the film as you are kept on edge wondering how the truth can come out.

Characters/PerformanceJeff is an interesting character that finds himself having to play detective from his own room, he builds a new dimension for the hero character who is unable to go and solve the crime. Lisa does feel out of place in this film because she comes off way to high class for be involved in the story.

James Stewart does single handily carry this film with his performance while Grace Kelly adds the beauty to it all.

SettingsThe whole film is shot from the room that Jeff is stuck in as he is watching his neighbours but when he sees the murder we see how he can’t do anything because of his broken leg but still wants to play detective, this all adds another dimension to the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the most influenced and important thrillers you will ever see.

 

Overall: A must watch for all the fans of Hitchcock, thriller or mystery fans.

Rating90

 

 

Seven Samurai (1954)

sevnDirector: Akira Kurosawa

Writer: Akira Kurosawa, Shinobu Hashimoto, Hideo Oguni (Screenplay)

Starring: Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Keiko Tsushima, Daisuke Kato, Isao Kimura, Seiji Miyaguchi, Yoshio Inaba

 

Plot: A poor village under attack by bandits recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: True Master Class

 

Story: Seven Samurai starts as we see the small poor village getting approached by bandits that they have already raided but decide to wait until the barley is ready which one of the villagers over hears. Searching for answers some of the villagers decide to go in search of poor hungry samurai to fight back against the bandits.

When the villagers find Kambei (Shimura) he purposes they need seven samurai including himself to defend the village once he learns just how desperate the villagers are. Kambei recruits the further six samurai Katayama (Inaba), Shichiroji (Kato), Kyuzo (Miyaguchi), Heihachi (Chiaki), Katsushiro (Kimura) and Kikuchiyo (Mifune) to come and protect the village putting aside all their difference they fight for honour.

 

Thoughts on Seven Samurai

 

StoryThe story shows how the villagers must defend themselves from bandits and just how they went about that happening. We get to see the honour of a samurai who are willing to fight not for money but for the right thing. This story is simple to follow but most importantly it is about how you can help somebody with their problems if you believe in the right things.

Action/Adventure When you look at the action inside tis film we get brilliantly choregraphed fight sequences for the time would have been something nobody would have seen and they still stand the test of time now.

Characters/PerformanceEach of the samurai has their own characteristics which makes us have added laughs for some but know they will be a force when it comes to battle. The performances are all good to throughout as we see the events of the film unfold.

SettingsThe settings for this film are constant as we see most of the film happen within the small village that needs defending, this helps us show just how close the community living there is making us support them through their struggles with the bandits.

Final ThoughtsThis is the classic people say it is, while it might be a little bit long you barely notice the 3 hour plus run time.

 

Overall: Essential viewing for anyone that wants to know how to make a truly special film.

Rating

 90