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.
Brilliant! The most underrated of the Hitchcock/Stewart collaborations is still as fascinating and entertaining as ever.
Alfred Hitchcock directed so many brilliant movies that the best known ones like 'Rear Window', 'Vertigo', 'Psycho' and 'The Birds' overshadow equally worthy films like 'Shadow Of A Doubt', 'Lifeboat' - insert your personal favourite here - and this one, 'Rope'. It was the first Hitchcock movie to feature James Stewart and it is easily the most underrated of the four movies they made together. I think Stewart was brave for taking this part, which was much darker than the usual characters associated with him, and it's difficult to imagine him being able to play Scottie in 'Vertigo' without having done this movie first. Stewart is excellent in the movie, but equally good are Farley Grainger (who subsequently starred in Hitchcock's 'Strangers On A Train') and John Dall as the thrill killers. Dall gives the best performance in the movie. I'm surprised that after making this and the Noir cult classic 'Gun Crazy' he isn't better known. The technical "gimmick" of 'Rope' is usually mentioned more than anything else about it (Hitchcock wanted one long continuous take, which wasn't possible at the time, but compromised by using several long ones, a very innovative approach at the time), but there is a lot more to it than just that. Considering the strict censorship of the period it was a daring look at homosexuality. The word is never used at any time in the script but a sophisticated audience would have no doubt what was really going on. I've only seen about a third of Hitchcock's output but every movie of his I watch or rewatch makes me marvel at him all the more. The greatest and most influential director of suspense movies was also one of the greatest directors of ANY genre ever. 'Rope' deserves to be mentioned in any list of his ten best movies. 55 years after it was originally released it is as fascinating and entertaining as ever. Highly recommended!
- Jul 13, 2003
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