Rear Window - POV

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In Alfred Hitchcock's film, Rear Window (1954), he used many point of view shots to put the viewer into the position of the protagonist played by James Stewart. In the film, Stewart's character, Jeffries, has broken his leg and has nothing better to do than look out the window at his neighbors. Production Design is very important because he lives in an urban apartment complex were all of the rear apartments face the same courtyard. So Jeffries' view is of the rear windows of the people who live across the courtyard. As he takes interest in one his neighbors, a salesman, and after finding out that the salesman's wife has died, begins to suspect that the husband killed her.


The film is very suspenseful and much the thanks is to Hitchcock's use of point of view shots. Jeffries observes his neighbor through a couple different mediums, binoculars and then later a camera with a telephoto lens. In these point of view shots, overlapping planes are important because it give the viewer a sense of depth in the shot, you can see the frame of the outer window, then the neighbor and his furniture, then the back wall of his apartment. This also give the viewer the sense that the salesman is boxed in.


I also think this is a good example of the difference between wide angle lens and telephoto lens shots. The shots of the neighbor are telephoto lens shots and they effectively shot the narrow depth of field and gives the shot a cramped feel to it. The reverse shots of Jeffries as he watches the salesman are wider angle as more of his surroundings are in view.

2 Comments

I have never seen this film, but just by watching this clip I think it is a great example of Subjective POV because you can even still see the black blur around the shot when he is looking at his neighbor, making the viewer feel like they are the ones looking through the camera with the character. Good example of POV!

SUCH a great movie! Hitchcock is just a genius! It's such a great example because the viewer can only see what Jeff is looking at and can see. Also- with the theme of this weeks parody's- ABC's tv show Castle just did their 100th episode as a parody from Rear Window. and it was done SO well! I would that episode to anyone who has seen the movie Rear Window also!

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This page contains a single entry by trim0036 published on March 12, 2013 6:27 PM.

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