The Window to the Courtyard (1998)

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German title The window to the courtyard
Original title Rear window
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1998
length 85 minutes
Age rating FSK 12
Director Jeff Bleckner
script Eric Overmyer ,
Larry Gross ,
Cornell Woolrich (author of the book)
production Sheldon Evening ,
Jeff Bleckner ,
Robert V. Gaulin ,
Steven Haft ,
Robert Halmi Jr. ,
David V. Picker ,
Christopher Reeve
music David Shire
camera Ken Kelsch
cut Geoffrey Rowland

The Window to the Courtyard is a 1998 American television film directed by Jeff Bleckner .

The basis of the film plot is the short story It Had to Be Murder by crime novelist Cornell Woolrich from 1942 and its film adaptation The Window to the Courtyard (1954) by Alfred Hitchcock .


The extremely successful architect Jason Kemp got into a serious traffic accident with his car and is now paralyzed from the head down . While he was in hospital, he had a three-story apartment converted to make it accessible for the disabled, which he moved into after he was discharged from the hospital. Using the most modern devices, computer technology , voice control , light barriers and the like that are built into the apartment, he achieves a high degree of autonomy. He also has two nurses, Antonio and Alison, on friendly terms. His new colleague Claudia helps him with his architectural work, which he now does from home. His new everyday life is sometimes quite boring. He begins to observe his new neighbors from different windows of his three-story apartment. One of the apartments opposite is being renovated by construction workers. A gay couple lives in another apartment who love to host parties. One of the neighbors, a young man, is always writing on the computer. A lovely young woman is often quite revealing, much to Jason Kemp's delight. The Thorpe couple live in the apartment below his own. One day he witnessed a quarrel between the violent developing Julian Thorpe and his wife Ilene Thorpe. Jason immediately notifies the police, who remove Julian Thorpe from the apartment that night. But soon after that he returns and on one of the following nights the argument continues. This time Jason cannot intervene because he is already in bed. This time he only perceives the argument acoustically. Nevertheless, Jason is convinced that Ilene Thorpe was murdered by her husband. Detective Charlie Moore, who was notified by Jason the next day, had doubts about his murder theory. But in fact Mrs. Thorpe is no longer in the apartment. Detective Moore questions Mr. Thorpe, who admits the argument but explains that his wife has left to live with her sister. Some neighbors testify to Ms. Thorpe's departure, leading Detective Moore to finally believe Jason must have been wrong. A short time later, Mrs. Thorpe reappears. She seems to have reconciled with her husband. But the turtling and the obviously broken harmony between Mr. and Mrs. Thorpe do not manage to soothe Jason's discomfort. He is still convinced that Mrs. Thorpe is dead, after all, there were the creepy noises.

Jason's colleague Claudia, who wants to believe him, is now spying on Julian Thorpe. A deadly game of cat and mouse begins, at the end of which the puzzle is solved. Ilene Thorpe is actually no longer in the apartment. The woman who now lives in the apartment is their twin sister. Julian Thorpe is arrested at the end of the film, but not because of the murder of Ilene Thorpe, because such a murder cannot be proven without the corpse, but because he had become aware of Jason’s activities and then tried to kill Jason. Regardless, the adventure ends happily for Jason. The paralysis has Jason's life is not destroyed and not finished. He's hoping to walk again one day. Claudia, who believed him, has fallen in love with him and they become lovers.


The film was produced by Cambria Productions , Haft Entertainment and Hallmark Entertainment . The film was shot in New York City , New York and Yonkers , New York .

With the film, Christopher Reeve celebrated his comeback as an actor after his serious accident .

The film was first shown on November 22, 1998 in the US on ABC television. The Australian video release was taken over by Paramount Pictures , which produced Das Fenster zum Hof (1954). It first ran in Germany on August 14, 1999. The film was also released in England , Canada , Sweden , Brazil , Italy , Spain , Greece , Denmark and Hungary .


Christopher Reeve received the Screen Actors Guild Film Award for his acting performance . It was also nominated for a Golden Globe Award / Best Supporting Actor - Series, Mini-Series or TV Movie . In addition, David Shire was nominated for an Emmy Award - Extraordinary Musical Composition in a Miniseries or a Film. The screenplay was also nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Award .


  • DVD : The window to the courtyard - SchröderMedia
  • DVD : Rear Window - Prism Leisure

References and comments

  1. On the back of the DVD packaging, the film is presented as a remake of the Hitchcock classic. The plot takes up elements of both Cornell Woolrich's book and the film in question, but here it differs significantly from the book and the film.
  2. The Internet Movie Database - Companies involved in Das Fenster zum Hof ​​(1998)
  3. The Internet Movie Database - Filming Locations for The Window to the Courtyard (1998)
  4. Spiegel-Online of October 11, 2004 - On the death of Christopher Reeve
  5. See The Internet Movie Database - start dates for Das Fenster zum Hof ​​(1998)
  6. FAZ.NET actor Christopher Reeve is dead
  7. The Internet Movie Database - Awards for Rear Window (1998)

Web links