Oscar Movies: Rear Window

One of Hitchcock's best and most commercial pictures, “Rear Window” was nominated for four Academy Awards: Director for Hitchcock, Screenplay for John Michael Hayes, Color Cinematography for Robert Burks, and Sound Recording for Loren L. Ryder.

The film itself was not nominated, but even if it did, it would have lost since the Oscars in 1954 were dominated by Kazan's “On the Waterfront,” which won Picture, Director, Actor, Supporting Actress, Screenplay, and others.

Oscar Context

Burks lost to Milton Krasner's work on “Three Coins in the Fountain,” a CinemaScope travelogue (the movie was set in Rome) that in strategy is exactly the opposite from the insular and claustrophobic “Rear Window.” Ryder, who captured impressively the sounds and noises of an urban inner courtyard, lost to Leslie I. Carey for “The Glenn Miller Story,” which also starred Jimmy Stewart.

The one shocking loss was John Michael Hayes's superb screenplay, an adaptation of Cornell Woolrich's short story, “It Had to Be Murder,” who was inexplicably defeated by George Seaton's pedestrian script for “The Country Girl.”

That movie won Grace Kelly her first and only Best Actress Oscar. Kelly might have received a nomination for “Rear Window,” were it not for her performance in the Seaton-directed melodrama, in which she appeared dowdy and deglamorized, the kind of thing that tends to impress Academy voters when it comes to beautiful stars.

As is well-known, Hitchcock had never won a legit, competitive Oscar.