348 user 145 critic

Rope (1948)

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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Complete credited cast:
Edith Evanson ...
Joan Chandler ...
Mr. Kentley (as Sir Cedric Hardwicke)


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 | Plot Synopsis


The guest who's dead on time See more »


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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

25 September 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alfred Hitchcock's Rope  »


Box Office


$1,500,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Story was very loosely based on the real-life murder committed by University of Chicago students Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, which was also the (fictionalized) subject of Compulsion (1959) and Swoon (1992). 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 »


[first lines]
Brandon: [David screams, to Phillip] Open it.
[they put David in the trunk and close it]
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Crazy Credits

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 »


Mouvement perpetuel no. 1
(1919) (uncredited)
Written by Francis Poulenc
Played on the piano
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Brilliant! The most underrated of the Hitchcock/Stewart collaborations is still as fascinating and entertaining as ever.
13 July 2003 | by See all my reviews

Alfred Hitchcock directed so many brilliant movies that the best known ones like 'Rear Window', 'Vertigo', 'Psycho' and 'The Birds' overshadow equally worthy films like 'Shadow Of A Doubt', 'Lifeboat' - insert your personal favourite here - and this one, 'Rope'. It was the first Hitchcock movie to feature James Stewart and it is easily the most underrated of the four movies they made together. I think Stewart was brave for taking this part, which was much darker than the usual characters associated with him, and it's difficult to imagine him being able to play Scottie in 'Vertigo' without having done this movie first. Stewart is excellent in the movie, but equally good are Farley Grainger (who subsequently starred in Hitchcock's 'Strangers On A Train') and John Dall as the thrill killers. Dall gives the best performance in the movie. I'm surprised that after making this and the Noir cult classic 'Gun Crazy' he isn't better known. The technical "gimmick" of 'Rope' is usually mentioned more than anything else about it (Hitchcock wanted one long continuous take, which wasn't possible at the time, but compromised by using several long ones, a very innovative approach at the time), but there is a lot more to it than just that. Considering the strict censorship of the period it was a daring look at homosexuality. The word is never used at any time in the script but a sophisticated audience would have no doubt what was really going on. I've only seen about a third of Hitchcock's output but every movie of his I watch or rewatch makes me marvel at him all the more. The greatest and most influential director of suspense movies was also one of the greatest directors of ANY genre ever. 'Rope' deserves to be mentioned in any list of his ten best movies. 55 years after it was originally released it is as fascinating and entertaining as ever. Highly recommended!

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