Rear Window and Vertigo are two Hitchcock films in which the main character shows voyeuristic behavior, experiences relationship problems and suffers from some sort of a handicap, be it physical or psychological. Rear Window has to do with a group of peeping toms. As his broken leg heals, wheelchair-bound L.B. Jefferies becomes absorbed with the parade of life outside his window and soon fixates on a mysterious man whose behavior has Jefferies convinced a murder has taken place. Many would believe the main part of the movie is Jefferies and his fiancée Lisa Fremont’s attempt to solve the case of the murder, when in reality, the main plot is the complex relationship between the two. Vertigo has to do with a retired San Francisco detective, John 'Scottie' Ferguson, suffering from acrophobia who investigates the strange activities of Madeleine Elster, the wife of his friend, who he believes is possessed. As he follows her, he slowly realizes that he has fallen in love with her. After he thinks she has died, the movie makes an unexpected twist revealing the real plot that Madeleine had already been murdered and he had been falling in love with a paid imposter, Judy Barton. The two films have many points in common including similar themes, the same actor playing the leading role in each, and containing traits that make it recognizably a Hitchcock film. The theme of both films is mystery. Hitchcock uses voyeurism as a main theme in both of these masterpieces. In Rear Window, Jefferies and Lisa exhibit voyeuristic traits once they start to stare at the neighbors through the window and especially once they begin to concentrate on the suspected murderer. In Vertigo, Ferguson is hired to follow and spy on who he thought was Madeleine Elster. The voyeuristic act of watching the thought to be possessed wife can relate back to Rear Window in the way that both Jefferies and Scottie enjoy watching their victims. Both the characters of L.B. Jefferies and John 'Scottie' Ferguson...
Cited: 1. Barr, Charles. BFI Film Classics: Vertigo. London: British Film Institute, 2002.
2. "Building Suspense in Rear Window | Engaging Cinema at Tech." Engaging Cinema at Tech. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Jan. 2013
3. Spotto, Donald. The Art of Alfred Hitchcock: Fifty Years of Motion Pictures. New York: Anchor Brooks, 1992.
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