Brandon and Philip are two young men who share a New York City 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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
During the party, the chest that houses David is tall enough to serve food from. However, by the end, as Rupert crosses to the chair next to it, the chest is only as tall as Rupert's knees. See more »
[David screams, to Phillip]
[they put David in the trunk and close it]
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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 »
Some commentators miss the point of the 10-minute takes, etc.
I have seen several negative comments about the eight 10-minute takes and three fade cuts that comprise this film, and many of them seem to miss the point. For example, bob the moo said, "but I don't understand why he didn't just accept that he would have to make do with 10 [actually, eight] different shots instead of trying to hide the edit. Each time he does it by zooming in on a black jacket and then pulling out again after the edit."
The whole idea was to build the suspense and make the action appear to take place in "real time" by not having the camera appear to blink. Thus the 10-minute takes (and three fade cuts at approximately 20-minute intervals); and I think it works very well. It also makes one appreciate the excellence of the acting. It is extremely difficult for actors to execute a film flawlessly in only eight 10-minute takes, and the three principal actors did a fantastic job under very stressful circumstances.
I think the reason the film was not a big box-office success is that people were expecting the usual Hitchcock action (think of earlier Hitchcock films such as Saboteur, Foreign Correspondent, The 39 Steps or The Man Who Knew Too Much). But any serious film buff should not miss this film.
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