“It was the possibility of doing a purely cinematic film. You have an immobilized man looking out. That’s one part of the film. The second part shows what he sees and the third part shows how he reacts. This is actually the purest expression of a cinematic idea.” —Alfred Hitchcock
François Truffaut: To my mind, ‘Rear Window’ is probably your very best screenplay in all respects. The construction, the unity of inspiration, the wealth of details.
Alfred Hitchcock: I was feeling very creative at the time, the batteries were well-charged. John Michael Hayes is a radio writer and he wrote the dialogue. —François Truffaut, Hitchcock
Read, learn, & absorb: John Michael Hayes’ screenplay for ‘Rear Window’ [pdf]. (NOTE: For educational purposes only)
When it came to his career, John Michael Hayes experienced the heaven and hell of Alfred Hitchcock. The four films they made together in a remarkably short period of time during the mid-1950s—‘Rear Window,’ ‘To Catch a Thief,’ ‘The Trouble with Harry,’ and ‘The Man Who Knew Too Much’ (1956 version)—would seem to provide the defining moments of Hayes’s résumé. But an initially harmonious working relationship turned sour. According to Hayes, Hitchock nurtured the fledgling screenwriter only to betray him ultimately. —John Michael Hayes: Qué Sera, Sera, interview by Susan Green
Based on a Cornell Woolrich short story, the screenplay for ‘Rear Window’ was Hayes’ first project with a major director. A keen writer of dialogue, Hayes quickly understood that because Hitchcock grew up in silent films, he had a tendency to rely on the camera as much as possible. He later recalled: “I caught some of that spirit. Hitchcock taught me about how to tell a story with the camera and tell it silently.” The critic Chris Wehner takes up this idea in a 2002 interview with John Michael Hayes in which he discusses the writing of ‘Rear Window.’ It provides a fascinating insight into Hayes’ working methods and his relationship with the great director. —John Michael Hayes: On Writing Rear Window
For more film related items throughout the day, follow Cinephilia & Beyond on Twitter. Get Cinephilia & Beyond in your inbox by signing in. You can also follow our RSS feed. Please use our Google Custom Search for better results. If you enjoy Cinephilia & Beyond, please consider making a small donation to keep it going: