Two men attempt to prove they committed the perfect crime by hosting a dinner party after strangling their former classmate to death.Two men attempt to prove they committed the perfect crime by hosting a dinner party after strangling their former classmate to death.Two men attempt to prove they committed the perfect crime by hosting a dinner party after strangling their former classmate to death.
Rope is the story of two young men, Brandan and Phillip (John Dall and Farley Granger), who come together to perform the perfect murder. They're only motive is that they are superior beings like Nietzsche says. So why do they kill they're friend David? Are they really that much above everyone else? They seem to think so, and they're old school master Rupert (James Stewart) gave them the idea in the first place. It seems that Brandan and Phillip have taken it too far.
After strangling David with a piece of rope, they must prepare for the party they are throwing. The food is set, David is placed in a chest in the parlor, and the guests will be arriving soon. One more change is needed to really make this a work of art. The food is moved from the dinning room and placed on top of the chest where David is resting in peace. Mrs. Wilson, the maid, doesn't seem to understand but it is not her job. Now everything is set. All that are needed are their guests, including David's father!
Their friend Kenneth, David's girlfriend/Kenneth's ex-girlfriend Janet, David's father, Mrs. Atwater, and Rupert all arrive and begin to eat. Phillip is in a daze because of the whole situation before hand. He still hasn't quite settled down yet and is very uneasy. Branan on the other hand is quite chirpy, stuttering with so much excitement. The party includes some musical accompaniment from Phillip and talk of David's whereabouts, for he was supposed to be there...alive. He can't believe that he actually pulled it off. All that needs to happen is for the guests to leave and off to the country-side to dispose of David.
Hitchcock has taken Patrick Hamilton's play and made it into an absolute masterpiece. Hitchcock had to take out some elements to the characters of Brandan and Phillip, mainly their homosexuality. Originally on stage the two are homosexuals but because of the time in which the movie was made in, it had to be adjusted to suit American standards. Europe already had addressed the issue in movies, but the US hadn't made it that far yet.
The real standout of this picture has got to be the cinematography. The entire movie is basically filmed in one continuous shot. The camera moves around with the characters over the apartment. It is made to look like you would see it on stage. You see everything going on and hear everything, just focus your attention on the characters that are speaking of moving around. The only time Hitchcock would stop the camera was when a person would walk by it would zoom in on their back for a second of two, just so the whole movie wasn't filmed non-stop, and made editing very simple. There is only one setting for the whole movie so you know exactly what is going on everywhere at all times. You can feel the suspense thickening as the men's secret is close to being exposed.
Rope is a perfect film and couldn't have fallen into better hands than Alfred Hitchcock. His vision to make a movie based on a play surpasses all other attempts at making this conversion. The film runs only 80 minutes but nonetheless is exhilarating from beginning to end. Unfortunately due to the homosexual references, the movie didn't do as well as it should have, but left its mark in cinema history. Don't let this one get away!
- Oct 19, 2005