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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Although the film lasts about 80 minutes and is supposed to be in "real time", the time frame it covers is actually longer - a little more than 100 minutes. This is accomplished by speeding up the action: the formal dinner lasts only 20 minutes, the sun sets too quickly and so on. The September 2002 issue of Scientific American contains a complete analysis of this technique (and the effect it has on the viewers, who actually feel as if they watched a 100-minute movie). See more »
During the opening credits - and judging by the windows on the opposite side of the street - the camera appears to be positioned roughly at the third, possibly fourth floor height at the most. However, the window view throughout the film suggests a flat on a much higher floor. See more »
[David screams, to Phillip]
[they put David in the trunk and close it]
See more »
In the end credits, the first credit is for the character of David Kentley who is only seen for a couple of seconds and has no spoken lines. Most of the other characters are listed with a descriptive phrase showing their relationship to David Kentley, or relationship among each other, just above the credit line(s) listing the character name and actor. The description and character name pairings are as follows: His friends - Brandon, Phillip; Their housekeeper - Mrs. Wilson; David's rival - Kenneth; David's girl - Janet; His father - Mr. Kentley; His aunt - Mrs. Atwater. The last character listed, Rubert Cadell, is the only one besides David Kentley without such a descriptive phrase. Also, David Kentley and Rupert Cadell are the only characters listed with both first and last names. See more »
What an unusual Hitchcock film... such a small cast, and the whole film consists of long takes. Before seeing this, I had heard enormously positive things about it... most of them coming from my father, who hadn't seen it for about fifteen years. I had high expectations for the film, but I must say it exceeded them. Though there are only a few cuts in this film, meaning the camera is running almost non-stop, Hitchcock makes great use of it; he manages to fit in many of his trademark angles and closeups in, without it seeming forced. At one point, the camera focuses for a minute and a half on an inanimate object with only one visible character moving back and forth near it, and he manages to drench the cut in suspense, leaving even the most calm and collected of viewers at the edge of their seat, biting their nails. Only the fewest directors could make that sequence work, and luckily Hitchcock is one of them. The plot is great. It's interesting and it develops nicely. The pacing is perfect. I was never bored for a second. The acting, oh the acting... John Dall is excellent as Brandon, the intellectually superior and very smug main character. Makes me wonder why he didn't get more roles in his career. Stewart is great, as usual. The rest of the acting is very good as well. The characters are well-written and credible. For such an unusual film, and despite the heavy feeling of watching a stage play rather than a film, it's very entertaining and effective. If for nothing else, watch this to enjoy Dall as the cold, calculating and manipulative psychopath. I recommend this to fans of Hitchcock and Stewart. 8/10
72 of 98 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?