Cinema Toast

Grace Kelly in a Pink Box

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I recently saw something that I want to buy. It’s a Grace Kelly Rear Window Barbie doll. I know. I’m 44 years old. It’s a doll.

But it’s Grace Kelly! And it’s a Barbie! And it’s the black and white cocktail dress from Rear Window!

That’s my whole argument. If you still think I’m crazy, you’re probably right.

I adore that movie. I can watch it a thousand times and never grow tired of it. Every character is perfection.

Alfred Hitchcock gave every role depth and purpose. Jimmy Stewart, Grace Kelly, Thelma Ritter, Raymond Burr and Wendell Corey compose the main cast. Every little move, expression and line they execute serves to propel the story. Even the minor roles of the spied-upon neighbors develop the film with compassion and humor.

While Stewart’s Jeff is adventure seeking and restless, Kelly’s Lisa is sophisticated and cool. Ritter’s down-to-earth Stella balances their romantic tension with simple facts. She just tells them what’s what and what’s not. Burr’s Thorwald is so ordinary and creepy that just a puff on his cigarette sends chills up my spine.

If you haven’t seen Hitchcock’s 1954 classic, you must. Drop everything. Make a date. Go rent it—never mind, just buy it. You’ll thank me later.

So why do I care that there is a Grace Kelly Barbie doll? She doesn’t even really look like Grace Kelly. If I tell you, you can’t tell anyone else. It will just be our little secret.

Here it is. Barbie dolls offered me my first chance to direct. Think about it. You have this wonderful cast of characters, all in a wide array of costumes, which will say and do whatever you want them to do. That’s playing with dolls, but it’s also directing. I am not suggesting that Hitchcock ever played with dolls, but I did.

Playing “Barbies” was one of my first story-telling experiences. Before I began writing, I played with my dolls. My collection of dolls still sparks my imagination.

Just the fact that there is a Rear Window Barbie thrills me. I love that others appreciate the same art and genius that this movie embodies.

That’s a wrap for this Toast to Cinema. Thanks for reading.