5. Rear Window (1954)
Stars: James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey, Thelma Ritter, Raymond Burr, Judith Evelyn
One of the many genius strokes at work in Rear Window is how deftly Hitchcock turns the viewer into a wholehearted participant, complete with a partner-in-paranoia: L.B. Jeffries (James Stewart). Jeffries is a photojournalist who's recently broken leg has relegated him to people-watching through his apartment's window, which gives him a nice view of the building across the way. One night, he sees what, in his eyes, appears to be a murder, and you're right there alongside him for the rest of Rear Window, trying to uncover the truth. Unfortunately, you're not able to also canoodle with the stunning Grace Kelly.
The film sharply dissects the simultaneous excitement and dangers associated with voyeurism, and, as a result, Rear Window makes viewers question themselves: "Am I like L.B. Jeffries when I'm watching movies about murder? Why don't I just turn away?" It's fair to assess that, while shooting the picture, Hitchcock was working out his own personal feelings toward analyzing images of death and deception through his trusty camera's distancing lens.