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Rope (1948)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Thriller | 25 September 1948 (USA)
Two young men strangle their "inferior" classmate, hide his body in their apartment, and invite his friends and family to a dinner party as a means to challenge the "perfection" of their crime.

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(adapted by), (from the play by) | 1 more credit »
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3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Edith Evanson ...
Mrs. Wilson
...
Kenneth Lawrence
Joan Chandler ...
Janet
...
Mr. Kentley (as Sir Cedric Hardwicke)
...
Dick Hogan ...
...
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Storyline

Brandon and Philip are two young men who share a New York apartment. They consider themselves intellectually superior to their friend David Kentley and as a consequence decide to murder him. Together they strangle David with a rope and placing the body in an old chest, they proceed to hold a small party. The guests include David's father, his fiancée Janet and their old schoolteacher Rupert from whom they mistakenly took their ideas. As Brandon becomes increasingly more daring, Rupert begins to suspect. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It Begins With a Shriek... It Ends With a Shot! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 September 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alfred Hitchcock's Rope  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was banned in a number of American cities because of the implied homosexuality of Phillip (Farley Granger) and Brandon (John Dall). See more »

Goofs

When Brandon is opening the curtains of the long window after killing David, the shadows are in the wrong direction, towards the window. See more »

Quotes

Brandon Shaw: I've always thought that it was out of character for David to drink anything as corrupt as Whiskey.
Phillip Morgan: Out of character for him to be murdered, too.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Most of the characters in the movie are listed in their relation to David, a character who is only seen for a couple of seconds, and has no lines in movie. The only person who isn't listed in reference to David is James Stewart's character. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Board James: 13 Dead End Drive (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Looking Over a Four-Leaf Clover
(1928) (uncredited)
Music by Harry M. Woods
Played on the radio by The Three Suns when Rupert is talking to Mrs. Wilson
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Innovation can't quite make this a masterpiece - but it's still worth watching
23 April 2002 | by (Dublin, Ireland) – See all my reviews

'Rope', as many reviews here point out, is shot in a "real time" format. The movie lasts 80 minutes and takes place over a period of 80 minutes - with 10 8 minute takes spliced together smartly (such as switching when focused on a back) to give the appearance of one long take. Even current "real time" dramas such as "Nick of Time" or "24" use cuts - and perhaps justifiably.

"Rope" is about two college students - the slimy Brendon Shaw (John Dall) and his friend and sub-texted-gay-partner Phillip Morgan (Farley Granger) who murder an old college mate and then, minutes after, host a dinner party to prove their calm, intellectual superiority and their "right" to kill off the lower echelons of society - they believe they are exempt from common morality. Central to this is their smug desire to show off their theory to their old mentor, Rupert Cadell (James Stewart), who is attending the party, and to get him to agree with their theories.

As the movie is essentially confined to one room, and one take, there's a definite "play" feel to the movie. While this worked wonderful with "12 Angry Men", the script and character interaction isn't quite smart enough here to sustain it. There's a lot of pontificating by Shaw, and some fine retorts by Cadell but there's a sense of forcedness about it at the same time. Only 3 of the characters are drawn with enough conviction, and it is only Cadell who we can really admire (Granger's Morgan seems to be too much of a nervous twitching type to add much to the movie). The script does allow us to gape with incredulity at the Nietzsche-esque theories of the "superman" espoused by Shaw, and the gay subtext is amusingly, and cleverly, done but there's an inevitability about the whole story - we know what will happen, it does, and this creates an ultimate lack of tension (when compared to, for example, Hitchock's "Vertigo").

The direction is, as would be expected, smart and - naturally - innovative here. The camera drifts about from character to character, as Hitchock tries his "one cut" approach, and there's some nice background detail (such as Hitchcock's flashing neon signs) to show the passage of time/current theme. Overall "Rope" is well worth seeing - it's not quite a failed experiment, nor a successful one. It's a "curio" which is worth appreciating for realizing why it was never really emulated since.


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