# # SPOILER: In addition to Mahon, Alfred Hitchcock noted in the modern interview that the 1910 case of Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen also served as an inspiration for the film. Crippen, an American living in London, poisoned his wife and cut up her body, then told police that she had moved to Los Angeles. Crippen was eventually caught after his secretary, with whom he was having an affair, was seen wearing Mrs. Crippen's jewelry, and a family friend searched unsuccessfully for Mrs. Crippen in California. After Scotland Yard became involved, Crippen and his mistress fled England under false names and were apprehended on an ocean liner. Police found parts of Mrs. Crippen's body in her cellar.
SPOILER: The film was inspired in part by the real-life murder case of Patrick Mahon. In 1924, in Sussex, England, Mahon murdered his pregnant mistress, Emily Kaye, and dismembered her body. In the modern interview, Alfred Hitchcock claimed that Mahon threw the body parts out of a train window piece by piece and burned the head in his fireplace. Another modern source, however, states that Mahon quartered the body and stored it in a large trunk, then removed internal organs, putting some in biscuit tins and a hatbox and boiling others on the stove.
SPOILER: Other than a couple of shots near the end and the discovery of the dead dog, all the shots in the movie originate from Jeff's apartment.
Neil Patrick Harris' favorite movie.
Joe Flynn was cast in the movie, but his scene was cut.
# # The 35mm camera that James Stewart holds with the huge telephoto lens attached is an early 1950s Exakta Varex VX manufactured in Dresden, Germany. The Paramount property department purposely covered over the name with black masking tape.
Ranked #3 on the American Film Institute's list of the 10 greatest films in the genre "Mystery" in June 2008.
2007: The American Film Institute ranked this as the #48 Greatest Movie of All Time.
The song "To See You Is to Love You" from the Paramount production Road to Bali (1952) written by Johnny Burke and Jimmy Van Heusen and sung by Bing Crosby, is playing when Jeff toasts Miss Lonely Hearts.
Screenwriter John Michael Hayes based Lisa on his own wife, who'd been a professional fashion model when they married.
The entire picture was shot on one set, which required months of planning and construction. The apartment-courtyard set measured 98 feet wide, 185 feet long and 40 feet high, and consisted of 31 apartments, eight of which were completely furnished. The courtyard was set 20 to 30 feet below stage level, and some of the buildings were the equivalent of five or six stories high.
Once during the filming, the lights were so hot that they set off the soundstage sprinkler system.
The songs heard on the soundtrack are all from earlier Paramount features, including Captain Carey, U.S.A. (1950), Mr. Music (1950), Road to Bali (1952), and Red Garters (1954).
All the apartments in Thorwald's building had electricity and running water, and could be lived in.
Director Cameo: (Alfred Hitchcock) about a half hour into the film, winding the clock in the songwriter's apartment. The songwriter is real-life songwriter Ross Bagdasarian.