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I got the book, The Oxford Book of American Detective Stories from the local library to read the Cornell Woolrich story “Rear Window,” the basis for the Hitchcock movie of the same name. I won’t do the usual and say the book is better than the movie. I hate it when people do that—the book (short-story) was different than the movie. Each can stand on its own. I love tracking down original works that were made into movies. This was more satisfying than most.

Jimmy Stewart’s character is still there, as is his detective friend. Much of the plot remains the same and Woolrich does a good job of making the “stage” come to life in the mind’s eye. The ending, which I won’t spoil, is different, but it’s not one of those, ‘oh, why did they ruin the movie’ endings—both the movie and the story endings are equally satisfying. Gone is the housekeeper, replaced by someone named Sam and the Grace Kelly character is a movie feature only.

Good read. This book uses the title “Rear Window” for the short-story, but I understand its original title was “It Had To Be Murder.”

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