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Should Have Won an Oscar: Rear Window (1954)

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The Prosaic Evil of Hitchcock's Rear Window

In one respect, the Oscars usually went off without a hitch–without a Hitchcock movie getting a Best Picture nod. Consider: North by Northwest not nominated in ’59, Psycho stiffed in ’60, The Birds blown off in ’63.

But if we have to choose just one Hitchcock film that Oscar should have graced with a Best Picture nod, Rear Window’s the clear choice. (Some might consider Vertigo to be the master’s greatest snub, but it’s too disturbing for Academy fare and has structural problems bigger than Kim Novak’s bra.)

Rear Window, charged with megawatt star power and blessed with a taut script, is the closest Hollywood ever came to a perfect suspense drama. There’s not one wasted frame in the peerless story about a temporarily chairbound photographer (Jimmy Stewart) who, with the help of his stunning, and mobile, girlfriend (Grace Kelly), goes about trying to solve a suspected murder.

Maybe Hitchcock dug his own Oscar grave when he made the famous “actors are cattle” remark and later amended it to: “What I meant to say was that actors should be treated as cattle.” What a charmer! So much for the Academy’s largest voting block.

The stuff that snubs are made of.

Nominees: The Caine Mutiny, The Country Girl, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Three Coins in the Fountain
Winner: On the Waterfront

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