What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Rear Window, considered a classic Alfred Hitchcock mystery, reflects the social and ethical values of the 1950s when it was made. Characters drink and smoke frequently; the men often leer at pretty women; and the film is set in an all-white urban neighborhood. The theme of the film, however, has currency. It's about voyeurism -- spying on unaware neighbors, jumping to conclusions about those neighbors, and acting impulsively. One suspenseful scene finds the wheelchair-bound hero in physical jeopardy from an attacker who may be a murderer who dismembered his wife. A dog is found dead with its neck broken.
- Families can talk about the alienation of urban life, about people living on top of one another in high-rises, yet remaining strangers.
- Jeff and his motivations are a big part of this movie's intrigue. As a photographer, he has to compose images for a living. When his broken leg means he can't do his job, can he be excused for continuing to habitually watch ordinary people?
- What would be different if this movie was made today?
- How do TV, Web sites, video blogs, and especially reality TV add to the movie's theme about the ethics of scrutinizing real people for entertainment?