Bale in "No Window"

You already know that remakes of Rear Window are a dime-a-dozen. Even allusions to it are superfluous. If you need extra convincing, see the last post on this web-log, regarding Shia LaBeouf’s career, including the Re-Boof of Rear Window, called Disturbia. If you still need convincing that there are way too many versions of Rear Window out there, see here.

Enter Bale.

The problem with every Rear Window adaptation, update, re-imagining, etc., is that they still use the same formula: 1.) person looks out window. 2.) person spies on people. 3.) person suspects murder. 4.) person either finds out murder happened, or finds out murder didn’t happen and they were being paranoid.

For Bale’s version of Rear Window, entitled No Window, the tables are turned. Bale is the murderer. We know he is the murderer, because we watch him murder someone in the opening twenty minutes. Unlike the Hitchcock version, where Jimmy Stewart’s neighbor Lars Thorwald murders his bedridden wife off-camera and Stewart spends the rest of the film trying to determine if it really happened or not, Bale (as Thorwald) kills his ailing neighbor in what he sees as a noble decision. He has watched her aging, getting sicker and sicker, until he realizes that he must do the Good Samaritan gesture… by commiting an act of vigilante euthanasia. However, his noble act soon goes wrong when he begins to suspect that a neighbor saw him, or at least that a neighbor suspects him, and that he or she is out for revenge.

Bale plays this guy. And he’s the protagonist.

As his paranoia escalates and the signs begin to add up – including a dead dog in the courtyard and notes slipped under his door – Bale becomes increasingly certain that someone else with a view of his courtyard saw the murder, leaving him only one choice: eliminate everyone else. As he goes from apartment to apartment trying to determine which voyeur knows his secret, he gradually closes in on the one person as his antagonist: the wheelchair-bound retired photographer. As the walls close in on our reluctant murderer, he is driven to a series of increasingly desperate and dangerous decisions, with deadly consequences for all.


  1. >I see Bale as a sort of anti-Raskolnikovian anti-anti-hero protagonist here: a fresh twist on an admittedly overdone remake. The arc of vigilante euthanasiast to vigilante paranoid serial killer will no doubt be acted with the near-understated and focused intensity that Bale consistently brings to all his remakes. I can only hope Jimmy Stewart's L.B. "Jeff" Jeffries can be played with the appropriate guile and ethical neglect required for the part, perhaps by Martin Sheen or Paul Giammati. Looking forward to it!

  2. >Comparisons to "Crime and Punishment" will be unavoidable… it could perhaps be entitled "Crime and Windows," but that might imply that it's a dark comedy in the same vein as Woody Allen's "Crimes and Misdemeanors." The good news is that Bale's Thorwald is clearly a different sort of man than Raskolnikov. I cannot believe I neglected speculating on a good choice to play Jeffries, but I believe that Giammati could do justice to the role, as everyone knows his ability to be raspy and despicable, while still oddly charismatic. Another option would be a gaunt, maniacal Willem Dafoe, in a slightly less creepy version of his "Shadow of the Vampire" performance. I imagine "American Psycho" fans would also be delighted to see Bale and Dafoe reuinted again, despite that their scenes together would be few.

  3. >I love the premise of this movie although I rather have him murder the neighbor because she is annoying rather than to take her out of her misery. I also would like to see him systematically eliminate every neighbor in the building and not just the one who saw him. better to be safe than sorry. I think the person who witnessed the murder could be played by one of the characters from the Wire and base this story in the projects of Baltimore.

  4. >That could work – perhaps the neighbors are crack addicts and he is attempting to clean up the building, so he murders them and then has to murder everyone else in the building in case they witnessed it. The one who witnessed the murder would be well-portrayed by Michael K. Williams (Omar).

  5. >there needs to be a love interest for Omar character. he could be gay but better yet, have him involved with a gorgeous, slutty blonde. not sure-maybe the girl from Gossip Girl–Blake Lively unless that is too much the Town. or Rhianna if want the chick to be black.

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