Tag Archives: The Film Forum

New York City Blog – Aug. 15 — Aug. 20

The Film Forum has had a stroke of genius. It’s offering twofers. For the price of one movie you can see two. They have quite a lineup, starting with Rear Window and Vertigo. I ordered my ticket online. By the time I arrived at the Film Form, sold out signs were posted. Something you don’t often see at the Film Forum. Rear Window was packed. Extra chairs were set up at the back of the theatre. I am an Alfred Hitchcock fan. Rear Window is a great favorite and I’ve seen it numerous times over the years in movie houses, drive-ins and on TV. There’s nothing like an old fashioned movie house packed with fans. The audience was hushed, like children listening to a well loved fairy tale. There’s always something new in a Hitchcock film. This time I concentrated on clothing: Grace Kelly’s lavish Edith Head wardrobe, Wendell Corey as the best dressed NYPD detective ever, the spotlessly attired 21 Club waiter who delivers a lobster dinner, just the thing to serve the world famous photographer and temporary invalid, James Stewart. Hitchcock made his American movies when many people were wrapping their tuxes in mothballs and switching to jeans. Hitchcock preferred bespoke costumes especially for his blonde stars. Didn’t he escort Eva Maria Saint on a Bergdorf’s shopping exhibition for her North by Northwest wardrobe? Rear Window was made in 1954, pre-air conditioning, which is underlined by the couple sleeping on the fire escape but there were Kelly, gossamer in her divine confections and Wendell Corey, dapper and cool in sweltering NYC summer humidity, Thelma Ritter, in a very cute summer dress, dragging a large shovel up and down stairs and ledges as Kelly climbs a few stories in a princess like outfit to the murderer’s lair. Was Hitchcock obsessed with clothes? Wendell Corey comments on the victim’s wardrobe as dated but serviceable. James Stewart comments on the impossibility of Kelly and her wardrobe making do in the wild. The last scene shows Stewart snoring away with two broken legs, while Kelly, dressed down – in jeans! – sneaks a look at Harper’s Bazaar. I didn’t stay for Vertigo. Unlike many people, it’s one of my least favorite Hitchcock films.