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 <email@example.com>
Screenwriter Arthur Laurents assures that in the original play, the character of Cadell (played by James Stewart) allegedly had an affair with one of the two murderers while in school. See more »
Joan Chandler looks directly at the camera a handful of times. See more »
[Phillip and Brandon have been arguing about strangling chickens]
Personally, I think a chicken is as good a reason for murder as a blonde, a mattress full of dollar bills or any of the customary, unimaginative reasons.
Well, now, you don't really approve of murder, Rupert? If I may?
You may... and I do. Think of the problems it would solve: unemployment, poverty, standing in line for theatre tickets...
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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 »
Compromised mostly of dialog but always fascinating, a film experiment that never feels gimmicky. One of Hitchock's most unfortunately overlooked.
"Rope" is one of Hitchcock's most unfortunately overlooked films. It doesn't have the depth of some of his other works (such as "Vertigo" or "Psycho"), but its just as engrossing and entertaining. Hitchcock could take such a seemingly simple premise and effectively stretch it out to a feature length and have none of it seem like filler. "Rope" is one of the most innovative film experiments of the decade, and it never feels gimmicky. Hitchcock, the master of suspense, is at the top of his game here. The film may be mostly nothing but dialog, but its always fascinating.
The acting is very good, as usual when working with Hitchcock's skilled direction. John Dall is absolutely spellbinding as one of cinema's scariest villains, an intellectual whose disregard for human emotions and morals verges more on fascism than the sub-Nietschze philosophy he proclaims. James Stewart is also superb as the voice of reason throughout the tension. The rest of the cast is good if occasionally awkward in delivery, but both Dall and Stewart turn in phenomenal performances.
Another interesting aspect of the film is the homoerotic subtext. I'm surprised it made it past the censors of the day, but to modern viewers its obvious there's something more to Dall and Farley Granger's relationship than just roommates. "Rope" is an absolutely fascinating film from the master of suspense, and even if its not his masterpiece, this is probably my personal favorite of Hitchcock's next to "Vertigo". (9/10)
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