I remember how much I enjoyed it the first time I saw it. I saw it in the movie theatre, and I remember trying to crawl out of my seat because of how well the tension was built. Jimmy Stewart plays a bit of a perv. He's peeking into windows with binoculars and a telephoto lens. He has the incredible Grace Kelly, but he'd rather be the voyeur.
A magnificently controlled exercise in tension through immobilisation, spatial distancing and silence. It's a situation that occurs to me in many city hotels with a canvas of assumed stories behind the windows opposite. Add to this a stranded hero and the most delicate beauty you could not wish harm upon and it's a superb example of 'what would I do in that situation?'. If only more commercial cinema were as good.
Favorite Hitchcock and favorite cinema experience. I was killing time in Brussels waiting to catch a train and saw this in English with French and Flemish titles. A woman took her two young children and watching them react to the film was nearly as enjoyable as the film itself. Great story, pacing, suspense and Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly are great. Voyeurism at its best.
An absolute masterpiece. I wish I could rate this higher than five stars. An essay on modern life and on cinema itself. By reducing your perspective to Stewart's eyes, the camerawork makes you feel both helpless and complicit in the sort of voyeuristic behavior he indulges in. Just like Jeff and his neighbors' lives, you too can't take your eyes off the screen. The unparalleled Mr. Hitchcock at the top of his game.
Peeping in windows and jumping to conclusions. This was my favorite Hitchcock film, until I saw 'Vertigo'. It can be (and had been) performed on stage as well, though perhaps with less claustrophobic portent. I saw this in my late teens, when it was re-released, having grown up on 'It's a Wonderful Life'. Mr. Stewart's dark side was/is all the more shocking for that. And then I discovered his other Hitchcock films...