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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:
Dick Hogan ...
...
...
Edith Evanson ...
Mrs. Wilson
...
Kenneth Lawrence
Joan Chandler ...
Janet
...
Mr. Kentley (as Sir Cedric Hardwicke)
...
...
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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 | Plot 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 cast includes one Oscar winner: James Stewart and two Oscar nominees: Alfred Hitchcock and John Dall. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Brandon: Good and evil, right and wrong were invented for the ordinary average man, the inferior man, because he needs them.
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 500 Questions: Episode #2.5 (2016) 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

 
More Than Just a Technical Achievement
18 February 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This 1948 Hitchcock film is mostly noted for its technical achievements. Hitchcock filmed this story, about two well-to-do rich kids who decide to commit a murder for the fun of it, as a play. Which, it in fact, originally was, though based in London and not New York. Technical limitations did not enable his original vision of making the entire picture one continuous long shot. Instead it is made up of several 8 minute continuous shots. This was the length of film that fit into one reel. Using some very inventive cutting techniques the film appears as if it was filmed all in one take. This is more impressive when you see the actual size that color film cameras were during this time period. They were absolutely enormous, bigger than a man standing. To move the camera in and around the small stage space, many of the set pieces were set on casters and rolled about to keep out of the way of the camera. Some of the actors were noted in saying that they worried every time they sat down, that there might not be a chair for them to fall into. Another achievement of the film is in terms of lighting. The apartment that the entire film is set in has several large windows overlooking the city. As the movie is more or less uninterrupted from start to finish we see the lighting change as the sun begins to set and night falls. It is a testament to this achievement that upon first viewing you don't really notice the effect. Yet, the filmmakers took great pains to get it to look realistic, staging numerous re-shoots for the final few scenes.

Though the technical achievements are quite wonderful, it is a shame that they have overshadowed what it really a very good bit of suspense. It seems the two high society murderers have planned a dinner party just after the murder. They store the corpse in a wood box that is featured prominently in the midst of the dinner. This creates an excellent mix of suspense and the macabre. Throughout the party the murderers become more unraveled even as they are enjoying their little game.

All of the acting is quite good. The two murderer (John Dall and Farley Granger) do a fine job of playing intellectual, society playboys, with a desire for excitement. It is slightly annoying watching their excited, nervous mannerisms (especially some stuttering by Jon Dall) but it is fitting with the characters. Their former instructor, Rupert Cadell, is played magnificently by the impeccable James Stewart. This is a bit of departure from Stewarts typical roles. Here he is a tough, cynical intellectual. This was his first of four collaborations between Stewart and Hitchock and it is hard to imagine his role as Scottie in Vertigo without having first played in this movie.

The story unravels in typical Hitchock fashion. The suspense is built, then lessoned by some well timed comedy, and then built again to a final crescendo. Hitchcock was excellent as a technical director and allowed his actors the breathing room they needed for fine performances. In the end I left the picture feeling more excited about the superb storytelling than any particular technical achievement. It is a testament to his craft, that Hitchock allows you to leave a picture being enamored with his story over his technical achievements. Some of the greatest effects are those you don't notice because they seem so natural and real.

Alfred Hitchock manages a triumph of technical brilliance and suspense in Rope. It's influence in the technical realm of cinema far outshines any effect the story has on future movies. This is a shame, for the story being told is one of suspense, macabre and excitement.

Like this review? Go to www.midnitcafe.blogspot for more.


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