The true story of gay lovers, Richard Loeb and Nathan Leopold Jr. who kidnapped and murdered a child in the early 1920s for kicks. The plot covers the months before the crime, the ... See full summary »
Sometimes looking through the biographies and credits of various performers and production people on this thread, because one sees titles one can hardly believe. Take ROPE. Most of us know of the experimental film with James Stewart and Farley Granger directed by Alfred Hitchcock. But while looking over the references for actor Dennis Price, I found this 1939 television production (in London) of ROPE.
Of course, I never saw this one. It is one of those missing late 1930s television broadcasts (on specially designed disks) of versions of recent West End productions for special wealthy television licensees of that period. They were usually of recent West End productions, like plays by J. B. Priestley, but the arrangements by the West End Producers insisted that the disks were destroyed after a few viewings (otherwise they'd take business from the stage productions).
This ROPE apparently stuck closer to the original Patrick Hamilton concept and play, which was set in England, not the United States. The homosexual relationship between the two young killers and their teacher Rupert Caddell (Stewart in the film, Ernest Milton - who originated the role - here) was more explicit (presumably). Note also that the victim's father is named Sir Johnstone Kentley, not just Mr. Kentley. Other character names have been changed. John Dall's character was Brandon Shaw in the movie, whereas here it appears to be "Wyndham Brandon". Dennis Price apparently played Brandon's rival for Janet in the movie, here not being Kenneth Lawrence, but Kenneth Raglan. Sir Johnstone's sister is not Mrs. Atwater (the Constance Collier part) but Mrs. Debenham. Apparently this version would have been well worth watching. Unfortunately we will never apparently see it to judge and compare against the movie.
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