Monday, November 07, 2011

Rear Window.

Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window based on a Cornell Woolrich short story (“It Had to Be Murder”) hit the US cinema halls in 1954. Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine was launched in 1955. Alfred Hitchcock Presents, produced by his Shamley Productions, was launched on CBS the same year. The first successful TV soap in the US, Search for Tomorrow (CBS), had debuted three years prior to Rear Window’s theatrical release. To Charlotte Chandler who wrote It’s Only A Movie, Hitch described Rear Window as “a movie about a peeping Tom” and likened it to a tabloid (“a kind of peeking”). I wonder, though, if Hitch ever thought of Rear Window as the perfect metaphor for television. He described it as a “close medium” where you had to get “in close as fast as you can” and where you had “to write with the camera” rather than go “photographing dialogue”, i.e., tell the story visually. This does not answer my query. It’s possible that Hitch, living up to his taciturn nature, did not articulate his thoughts about the nature of the medium which had made him “an instantly recognizable celebrity all over the world” like Elvis Presley.