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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Rear Window (1998)



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This made-for-TV remake of Alfred Hitchcock's classic Rear Window cannot be compared favorably to the original, but taken on its own terms, this is an exceptional accomplishment. It stars Christopher Reeve -- his first starring role since the horseback riding accident that left him a quadriplegic. Much can be said about the courage it must have taken him to play the role, particularly given some of the plot elements. An early scene in a hospital, for example, is a reenactment of a horror that occurred to Reeve in real life. But I want to distinguish Reeve's personal triumph in making this film from the professional accomplishment. He does a fantastic acting job. Rear Window proves that in spite of his physical disability, he's still the same high calibre of an actor that he was before.

The story diverges from the original Hitchcock film enough to be a satisfying thriller in its own right, although the scenes that recall the original serve as an unfortunate reminder of the absent ingenuity and subtle, cutting wit. But, as I say, taken on its own terms, the remake is a noteworthy production, and it's one of the better made-for-TV movies out there.

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