Study Guide

Rear Window What's Up With the Ending?

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What's Up With the Ending?

The best thing about the ending isn't that Thorwald is in jail and our lovers are back together but the way Hitchcock wraps up all of the stories we've watched unfold through that window. Just as the camera panned across the courtyard at the beginning of the film introducing us to the neighbors and their dramas, it does the same at the end. We see Miss Torso's boyfriend finally coming home from the Army, only to be revealed as a skinny little geek. Miss Lonelyhearts befriends the songwriter whose music saved her life; the couple on the fire escape have a new dog to love; the passionate newlyweds have turned into an ordinary bickering couple; and the thermometer shows us that the heatwave has broken.

Lisa and Jeff seem to be doing just fine. Jeff, now in two casts, looks to be going nowhere for a while yet. Lisa seems to have given up on "taming" her beau and reads a travel book while lounging in jeans and loafers instead of expensive dresses.

But, as with the newlyweds, not everything seems to have wrapped up neatly. When Jeff falls asleep, Lisa puts down that How to Kill Your Dinner with a Penknife treatise in favor of a fashion magazine. And just as the shades on Jeff's window rise to introduce us to this film, the shades come down as the film ends. Jeff and Lisa's story is definitely to be continued, but we won't be seeing it. As Hitchcock ends the film with the blinds in Jeff's apartment being lowered, our own episode of voyeurism has come to a close.

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