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Rope (1948)

PG  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  28 August 1948 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 90,323 users  
Reviews: 317 user | 127 critic

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:
Dick Hogan ...
His friend - Brandon
His friend - Philip
Edith Evanson ...
Their housekeeper - Mrs. Wilson
David's rival - Kenneth
Joan Chandler ...
David's girl - Janet
His father - 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 | Add Synopsis


Nothing ever held you like Alfred Hitchcock's Rope See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

28 August 1948 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alfred Hitchcock's Rope  »

Box Office


$1,500,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The apartment is supposedly located around Second Avenue and 54th street in NYC. The view out the window is looking to the West. See more »


Camera shadow visible on Rupert as he gives his speech at the chest near the end of the film. See more »


Brandon Shaw: Determined to get drunk, aren't you?
Phillip Morgan: I am drunk.
Brandon Shaw: And just as childish as you were before when you called me a liar.
Phillip Morgan: You had no business telling that story.
Brandon Shaw: Why did you lie anyway?
Phillip Morgan: I had to! Have you ever bothered for just one minute to understand how someone else might feel?
Brandon Shaw: I'm not sentimental if that's what you...
Phillip Morgan: No, that's not what I mean; but it doesn't matter. Nothing matters... except that Mr. Brandon liked the party. Mr. Brandon gave the party. Mr. Brandon had a delightful evening. Well...
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 »


Referenced in Reputations: Hitch: Alfred the Auteur (1999) See more »


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

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User Reviews

Innovation can't quite make this a masterpiece - but it's still worth watching
23 April 2002 | by (Dublin, Ireland) – See all my reviews

'Rope', as many reviews here point out, is shot in a "real time" format. The movie lasts 80 minutes and takes place over a period of 80 minutes - with 10 8 minute takes spliced together smartly (such as switching when focused on a back) to give the appearance of one long take. Even current "real time" dramas such as "Nick of Time" or "24" use cuts - and perhaps justifiably.

"Rope" is about two college students - the slimy Brendon Shaw (John Dall) and his friend and sub-texted-gay-partner Phillip Morgan (Farley Granger) who murder an old college mate and then, minutes after, host a dinner party to prove their calm, intellectual superiority and their "right" to kill off the lower echelons of society - they believe they are exempt from common morality. Central to this is their smug desire to show off their theory to their old mentor, Rupert Cadell (James Stewart), who is attending the party, and to get him to agree with their theories.

As the movie is essentially confined to one room, and one take, there's a definite "play" feel to the movie. While this worked wonderful with "12 Angry Men", the script and character interaction isn't quite smart enough here to sustain it. There's a lot of pontificating by Shaw, and some fine retorts by Cadell but there's a sense of forcedness about it at the same time. Only 3 of the characters are drawn with enough conviction, and it is only Cadell who we can really admire (Granger's Morgan seems to be too much of a nervous twitching type to add much to the movie). The script does allow us to gape with incredulity at the Nietzsche-esque theories of the "superman" espoused by Shaw, and the gay subtext is amusingly, and cleverly, done but there's an inevitability about the whole story - we know what will happen, it does, and this creates an ultimate lack of tension (when compared to, for example, Hitchock's "Vertigo").

The direction is, as would be expected, smart and - naturally - innovative here. The camera drifts about from character to character, as Hitchock tries his "one cut" approach, and there's some nice background detail (such as Hitchcock's flashing neon signs) to show the passage of time/current theme. Overall "Rope" is well worth seeing - it's not quite a failed experiment, nor a successful one. It's a "curio" which is worth appreciating for realizing why it was never really emulated since.

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Recent Posts
Completely missed supposed homosexual vibe darkfyre17
Would you put this among Hitchcocks best? the_crawl4
When did Rupert begin to suspect? Derek020
Ben Affleck was great in this tebor79
Would they have gotten away with it if they were more shrewd? thecrux-1
An easy way out for the murderers nage-3
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