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>
With Hume Cronyn, Alfred Hitchcock made a very different Rupert Cadell for the film. In the play, Rupert Cadell is only 29 years old. Rupert Cadell in the play had an affair with one of his students. Rupert Cadell is the current teacher of only Wyndham Brandon (Brandon Shaw in the film) and Charles Granillo (Philip Morgan in the film) in the play. In the film, Rupert was the "past" teacher of Brandon Shaw, Philip Morgan, Kenneth Lawrence, and David Kentley. In the film, Rupert looks like he is at least in his mid 40s. In the film, Rupert is currently a publisher. In the film, Rupert Cadell has a romantic relationship with Mrs. Wilson. Rupert Cadell also has plans of marrying Mrs. Wilson in the future. But in the play, there is no Mrs. Wilson. Instead of Mrs. Wilson, there is a 35 year old french servant named Mr. Sabot. See more »
When Rupert is talking to Brandon and holding two plates of ice cream, the camera moves behind Brandon's back to make a cut. When the camera re-emerges, Rupert and Brandon are standing in the same positions, but the doorway background is in a different place. Also, the ice cream topping has changed from chocolate to caramel. Furthermore, the piece of cake changes position on the plate in Rupert's left hand - it moves to the opposite side. See more »
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 »
I place this one in my list of films anyone should watch. That is, in order to understand some fundamental issues on film-making and films in the last 50 years.
What i'm least interested in here are the technical innovations. Those represent today a curiosity, a museum fact, worth being remembered and credited to those who worked for them, but just it.
I'm also not so interested in the underlying taboo subjects, namely those regarding the homosexuality issue. In respect to that, i even think the whole film construction, from casting to scene writing threw away many things. I'll get morecontroversial. I think Hitchcock in fact despised those messages (the writers were worried in exploring them, not Hitch), he was not after meanings or controversies, he was after something far more ingenious and influential. I'm talking about his camera eye.
Before this one, all Hitch's work was something between a classical construction and some exploration of the camera as carrier of a character's (and the audience's) emotion/feeling/sensation. The library scene in 'Shadow of a doubt', for example, is the perfect example of what i'm talking about. Anyway, that will Hitch had of making the camera follow around characters, sets, and reveal what a character (or "god") had to reveal was already notable. In here, he made that the theme of the picture. One single set, very few characters, a clear as water story (which he made even clearer by not throwing any doubt about the destiny of the murdered boy). The sexual issues also go to second importance issues. The apartment is at once simple enough to solve the technical difficulties of filming it, and large and divided enough to allow the camera to explore it, searching for elements, for dialogues or for actions. The camera has curiosity, it is almost a character, a character called audience. Years later, in different molds, Hitch would place Stewart behind the camera and definitely assume it as a physical character in the plot (Rear Window). In here what we get is fully a camera that moves to the whishes of the director. The curious, ever searching camera that dePalma would reinvent and Polanski master shows up here.
I believe the work of dePalma, in a way Polanski, Chabrol and even some Godard (Le mépris is filled with this) all derive from what happened here. Hitchcock would probably hit the top with Rear Window, but here is where he becomes an inventor.
My evaluation: 5/5 . one of the cinematic manifestos
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