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 <email@example.com>
Over the course of the film we eventually see all four sides of the apartment, and get a better idea of where the chest is located in the geography. See more »
Philip cuts his hand on glass, but moments later there's no blood or wound visible. See more »
[David screams, to Phillip]
[they put David in the trunk and close it]
See more »
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 »
Filmmakers have all sorts of problems when selecting material, and that's compounded when there's a book or play involved. And its particularly difficult if you are an intelligent filmmaker, interested in twisting cinematic narrative.
When you see the final product, its often great fun to know the original and how the filmmaker changed it.
(I decided to re see this after learning today that Harry Potter's Dumbledore is gay, and how that will reinvent what we know.)
The original story is about two rich, gay college students who live together. Their homosexuality is a secret. One partner is assertive, the other dominated. There is a college professor, also gay, with who the dominant kid had an affair, now past. This professor is considered to be a sort of superman by the now spurned boy.
Meanwhile, to cover the truth, one of them had a girlfriend who subsequently left and is now engaged to another, the boy who turns up murdered. He was apparently going to out the pair and so they kill him early in the movie, the first few seconds in fact. All this was in the original, though I have it from remarks by the screenwriter.
This is what is behind the flaunting of the secret, a sort of closeted secret. It is why the games with the professor and the former girlfriend are entangled. Its where the tension comes from and why the weak man breaks. Its why the original ending meant something.
Hitchcock was disappointed in this because I think he made compromises early in the game to take out all the queer dynamics and just stick with the more generic morality of the thing. There are some cinematic tricks he pulls (that light through the window at the end), but he's highlighting something that has been eviscerated. Well, knowing what you do now, maybe you'll appreciate this more.
Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
16 of 24 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this