The actress and later princess of Monaco Grace de Monaco (before her marriage she was called Grace Kelly) stood in front of a film camera for the first time in November 1950.
Even before that, Grace stood in front of television cameras in numerous television productions – she acted in television shows that were broadcast live.
Through a camera test, which Grace Kelly was asked to make for the film “Taxi“ (1953), the “Master of Suspense“, Alfred Hitchcock became aware of the young actress. The later Princess of Monaco didn’t get the role in the movie “Taxi“ but she soon got the chance to play under Hitchcock’s directorship.
The three films Hitchcock made with Grace Kelly as the leading lady were “Dial ‘M’ for Murder” (1954), “Rear Window” (1954) and “To Catch a Thief” (1955).
In “Rear Window“, which is considered one of Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpieces, there are three motifs that lend the film its unique character: voyeurism as one of the motifs comes in at the very beginning of the film – the photographer L. B. Jefferies, incapacitated by a leg injury, sits in his apartment and watches from his window what the other residents in his apartment building are doing. There is “Miss Lonelyhearts“, who is lonely and longs for someone to love, but simply can’t find happiness in love. Then there is a good-looking dancer who is waiting for her lover to return from the army.
L. B. Jefferies is especially interested in Mr. Thorwald and his wife, who is in need of care and who suddenly disappears mysteriously…
With Thorwald and his disappeared wife, the second motif comes into focus right at the beginning of the film: the crime story.
In “Rear Window“, Grace Kelly plays Manhattinate Lisa Carol Fremont, who is engaged to Jefferies. But there is also potential for conflict between the two New Yorkers: when Lisa longs for Jefferies physical closeness, he prefers to deal with the mysterious disappearance of Mrs. Thorwald rather than with his fiancée. In addition, the different characters of Lisa and Jefferies cause further relationship conflicts, which as a third motif enliven the plot of the film.
“How far does a girl have to go before you notice her?“, Manhattinate Lisa asks her fiancé at the beginning. How far Lisa is actually willing to go becomes apparent in the course of the film…
Simon von Ludwig
Read another article by Der Bussard on Grace Kelly:
Cover picture: Grace Kelly in September 1972, © Hans Peters / Anefo, CC0 1.0, taken from Wikimedia Commons
The book “Grace Kelly – Film Stills“ (German) published by Schirmer Mosel served as main source.