The welcome arrival of Hitchcock on 4K Ultra HD in Australia continues with the voyeuristic classic Rear Window. So, is it worth a peek, or does it reek?
The story: Photographer L.B. Jefferies (James Stewart) is stuck at home in his flat, wheelchair-bound. To pass the time he spies on the other inhabitants of his block, before becoming convinced that one of them is a murderer…
“Why would a man leave his apartment three times on a rainy night with a suitcase and come back three times?”
The 4K disc: A spotless native 4K transfer is the order of the day here, and this 1954 film looks truly spectacular. HDR enhancement is complicit in this quality, delivering wonderfully black blacks, while the extra overall brightness really helps outbreaks of colour pop with style. Levels of grain tend to vary depending upon lighting – night scenes show more – but we never found it an invasion upon enjoyment of the mystery at hand.
There’s no spectacular redo of the audio, with a perfectly serviceable – and essentially faithful to the original – DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mono mix the order of the day. Most importantly, all dialogue is clean and clear, as are Franz Waxman’s beginning and ending themes – the film purposely lacks orchestration in favour of highlighting real world sounds.
Like the excellent 4K Ultra HD release of Hitchcock’s Vertigo, a bevy of special features are included both on the 4K disc and the handy standard Blu-ray. These include an entertaining audio commentary from author John Fawell (who penned a great book analysing the film), a selection of featurettes, an interview excerpt with Hitchcock and Truffaut and a couple of trailers.
Release date: May 26, 2021
Format: 4K Ultra HD
Starring: James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Raymond Burr
Want to know what to get next? Check out STACK‘s 4K Ultra HD specifications guide.