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It's use of one scene for the whole film, the brilliant way it is portrayed as one whole scene, the performances of Stewart (particularly), Shaw and Morgan make this another superb Hitchcock classic.
The murder was ingenious, as was the convaluted discovery of the gruesome facts of the case. Brilliant.
In some ways an update of "The Telltale Heart", _Rope_ stands on its own as a landmark and gripping film.
Cons: James Stewart's character.
Rope is Alfred Hitchcock's technical masterpiece that deals with the themes of whether all human beings are made equal. The film is brilliant to watch as it progresses in real time. Shot in a series of eight minute takes (that was how much film the camera could hold)joined together almost seamlessly as the whole film feels it was filmed in one long continous shot. Even the view from the window was outstanding because it wasn't real but it sure looked like it (even the lighting sceme was perfect as the sun went down). John Dall and Farley Granger are prfect as the murderous duo but I had a problem with Jame Stewart character. He partially is to blame for the murder of David because he preaches that murder should be necessary in solvingsociety's problems. He then recants his views rather quickly as soon as his doctrines are practiced in life, probably because he can't face the music. Nevertheless an underappreciated Hitchcock masterpiece about the importance of a human life.
Premise: Students murder to prove their intellectual superiority.
Rope wasn't nominated for a single Academy award but was nominated for an Edgar.
Grade: 9.5/10 (Top five hitchcock).
Fine performances throughout, particularly from Stewart, and a taught script.
Filmed in ten-minute nonstop segments, with the camera fading to black or into a wall/or person's back, denoting the end of each segment. An interesting approach that works.
The gay element is present in the movie, but greatly downplayed, much in the same way Audrey Hepburn's lifestyle was in "Breakfast at Tiffanys".
Pros: Directing, Visual style, Dialogue.
Cons: One word, James Stewart
Bottom line: Very good Hitchcock Flick.
Macabre? Absolutely. "Rope" is a deliciously wicked film. It is one of the few Hitchcock films that illicit many laughs with its darkly humorous script. It is also a great suspense film, however; one is so astounded as to the lengths these two will go, (actually serving dinner from the top of the trunk where David's body lies) that it is almost natural to root for them to see how far this scheme will go, and if it will succeed. Stewart is fantastic as the brilliant, sardonic and dark Rupert a man who ends up learning a lot about himself on this fateful evening. John Dall is uncompromising in his smugness, and Farley Granger, a great underexposed actor, shines as the fragile half of the duo. Even above these excellent attributes of the film is the production itself. Hitchcock filmed "Rope" in near real-time, employing 8 minute takes (the most film the camera could use before running out), so the film has a more intimate feeling, and of course, in an era of quick cuts and edits, actual long takes are for the most part, an unfortunate relic of the past. While watching the film, pay attention to the expert blocking of the scenes as a result of the long takes. It is amazing to watch the ingenious manner in which Hitchcock keeps the action going for example, if the camera is focused on Stewart, instead of swinging around awkwardly to face the next person who will be talking, Stewart simply stands up and walks toward the direction of the next speaker. It is exquisite film-making.
For a film that takes place in three rooms of an apartment, featuring nine actors (one of whom has about ten seconds of screen time) and is essentially done in real-time, "Rope" is a powerful and masterful film made by The Master himself. "Rope" has always been one of those "Oh yeah THAT film" kind of films that a lot of people have heard of but have rarely seen. If you are one of those people, make it your mission to see this one. It remains one of my favorite Hitchcock films, even with its highly competitive siblings. 9/10 --Shelly
It would be hard for the film to find a reason to leave the apartment (it doesn't need to) and the suspense isn't so much to do with the act of murder, but whether Jimmy Stewart's character will confirm or betray the amoral stance his protégés claim to have learnt from him.
The dialogue is rather stilted but no more and probably less so than much of the scripting of the time - indeed Stewart's own, initial, lightheartedness offers an instructive counterpoint to the formality of the rest of the cast and could be seen as deliberate as he is the only guest not to be fooled.
There is a plausible homosexual undercurrent here and I agree that there's certainly a huge amount of ambiguity but let's not forget the whole 'Janet' issue and Stewart's interest in the housekeeper. To boil the whole film down to an "are they/aren't they?" argument may be hugely fashionable but I think it would be a disservice to a full understanding of a rich film accessible from a variety if angles - you could just as easily go S&M with the rope or Marxist over the housekeeper.
Hitchcocks first ever color production, "Rope" was shot in very long scenes (some lasting more than 10 minutes in a single frame), the film appears like a theatre play. Similarities to the infamous 1920s high profile Leopold-Loeb murder case are obvious but denied by a disclaimer at the end of the film.
This is an undeniably "different" and very interesting Hitchcock Classic. James Stewart (pretty much playing himself, as usual), is effective as the "master detective", determined to get to the bottom of what's going on. A very young Farley Granger is great as the "frightened kid" under the thumb of his dominating older brother. For fans of the Master, this is an enjoyable trip into the exploration of some very disturbed minds.
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!
Based on Patrick Hamilton's "Rope's End", which was loosely inspired by a notorious case of murder; "Rope" is the story of two men, Brandon (John Dall) and Phillip (Farley Granger), who murder ex-classmate David (Dick Hogan) just for the thrill of it. Brandon, who is so satisfied by his "perfect crime", decides to host a party with David0s body hidden in the old chest that serves as table. Among his guests is David's family and his girlfriend, as well as the man that apparently has influenced their lives the most: their professor Rupert Cadell (James Stewart), who will try to discover what are his former students hiding.
"Rope" is a film that includes so many elements that to label it as a "gimmick film" would be a criminal injustice. The most notorious of this elements is the disguised homosexuality latent in the film. While the play was obviously a drama between gay men, Hitchcock and writer Arthur Laurents had to take a subtle approach to avoid studio censorship. The carefully developed screenplay by Laurents is a work of art on its own merit, not only as an adaptation of an existing play, but as a different take on the subject.
The cast is superb, and since the cast is formed by only nine persons, Hitchcock makes sure that we know them and sympathize with them. Dall and Granger are superb as the couple of murderers; Dall gives Brandon a sophisticated look that contrasts with his twisted morale and Granger is perfect as the nervous pianist Phillip. James Stewart gives his typical Hitchcocknian interpretation in a low-key performance that serves as the oil that makes the film work. His character works as the detective that must solve the mystery before the party ends, and in fact is a more complex person that what it seems. The rest of the cast complete the picture with legend Cedric Hardwicke and Edith Evanson shining in their small but important roles.
Hitchcock makes the movie flow at a good rhythm, something essential for a movie with a small cast and set in a limited space (the entire movie occurs in Brandon's apartment). It has been said that the Master of Suspense planned the movie "as a play", and I must say that he succeeded making "Rope" work even better than a play would do. I don't want to talk too much about the "one-shot" technique because it has been discussed a lot previously, however, I still feel compelled to praise Hitchcock superb work with the camera. Along with "Rear Window", this film captures the voyeur experience and makes the audience part of the party, a witness and accomplice in Brandon and Phillip's crime.
"Rope" is one of those films with no apparent flaw, as everything works like a clock, with all its parts in perfect harmony. If a flaw was to be found, it would be the now-obvious series of cuts that Hitchcock makes to hide his "trick". Definitely, one is left to wonder on what would Hitchcock do with modern technology.
The excellent screenplay, the top notch performances of the cast, the masterful direction; all these elements make "Rope" more than a gimmick film. In the end, the "one shot" trick Hitchcock devised becomes unnoticeable as the plot is so captivating, but that's probably what the Master intended. He wanted "Rope" to feel like a real time representation of a murder. And once again, he succeeded. 10/10. Classic
I watched the making of the film afterwards and I found out that most of my predictions were true and that Alfred wanted the film to have these type of feels. The man knew what he was doing and he is a master at suspense and mystery. Not to mention he knows how to cast a movie, James Stewart once again has won my heart with his heart gripping performance. This is a terrific movie, folks. Watch and learn from the pro's.
Storyline: The two young upper-class intellectuals Brandon Shaw (John Dall) and Phillip Morgan (Farley Granger) carry out a vicious plan to strangle their old friend/classmate in their apartment, hide his corpse in a old chest, invite guests over for a party, and use the old chest as a dinner table. While Brandon sees their plan as art and likes playing with fire, Phillip already feels an enormous amount of guilt. They both start getting nervous, as the guests starts wondering where David Kentley (the classmate they killed) is. Their old role model and philosophy teacher, the very intelligent Rupert Cadell (James Stewart), who is also among the guests, senses that something is terribly wrong, as he sees all these little hints that support his theory that David is dead.
ROBE is one of the most underrated Hitcock movies. It's interesting, suspenseful, and James Stewart is as great as in VERTIGO. In the documentary on the DVD the writer says that he thinks Hitchcock shouldn't have shown the two men strangle the friend, because he thinks that the suspense lies in that audiences don't know whether there really is a corpse in the chest or not. I don't necessarily agree. I think that would be unnecessary, and suspense for the take of the suspense, with no meaning behind it. It would remove focus from the Hitchcockian guilt and moral themes. Another (almost) idea left out of the movie was the homosexual theme between the two men, although you still sense that the undertones are there.
Highly recommendable, especially if you're a Hitchcock fan. 10/10
the idea of not bringing the mother, but the aunt was thinking out of the box. it brought humor to the tension.
It was Hitchcock's first colour film, at a time when film noir was only done in black-and-white. And, it was Hitchcock's first attempt to use the long take and, when viewed, it appears to be one continuous flow, with no cuts, wipes, dissolves or fades. However, it was filmed as a series of long takes of between 8 and a half and 10 minutes each, and then cleverly spliced to give the continuous effect. And it works. You have to be eagle-eyed to note when those cuts are managed, however.
Why did Hitchcock go to such trouble to produce that effect? According to one source, he did it "as a stunt", simply to see if he could pull it off (in that regard, Hitchcock's desire with the production parallels the fictional evil murderers' desire to pull off the perfect murder). So, for the discerning viewer, this is a very technical movie that required very precise positioning of equipment and rigid placement of the actors and props, all of which then had to be rehearsed endlessly before attempting a ten-minute take. Despite those self-imposed restrictions, Hitchcock finished the movie within a month. No mean feat, in my opinion...
Be aware, though: when you view this movie, you are transfixed as though you are in the apartment with the two murderers all the time. When I saw it, as a boy, over fifty years ago, I was mesmerized; watching it again on DVD today, the same effect applies, but with a PAUSE button, I can interrupt the flow now. However, the fascination is still there, and like no other movie from Hitchcock.
This is a movie that relies upon dialog for the story, with great lines and much double entendre resulting in macabre humour. The visual creates the suspense, however, the most effective piece being when the maid (Edith Evanson) takes away the dinner dishes from the top of the chest with the body inside, and you just know that she will try to open the chest to put some books in it. It's a long sequence, and the dinner conversation is chattering on, and all the while the moment when she will want to open the lid gets ever nearer. Aaaah, it's excruciatingly good... What will happen to stop her?
That's the nub of this narrative: from the very outset, you know who's dead, and you know who did it. What you don't know is how it will all end, and you don't know that until the very last second of screen time. So, it's worth seeing the movie for that alone. I know I'll be watching the movie again and again, simply to take in the astuteness and precision of Hitchcock's direction, the best of its type I've seen.
You can quibble about the quality of the acting all you wish, for this is not an actor's movie (although the acting is, for the most part, superb). It's Hitchcock all the way: he's showing us just how well he can do it, and he succeeds.
This is most definitely the most underrated Alfred Hitchcock film out there. I mean, it is basically one scene and there is almost no suspense whatsoever but the acting is brilliant and the long shots are really unique and make the film more into a play. You also feel for Brandon and Phillip. It is quite obvious that they are "it," in the words of the crew and cast for Rope. I also find the way of Rupert finding out of the murder to be very smart. There is also very dry humor in this movie.
Here is the plot of this movie. Two men named Brandon and Phillip murder another man named David. They kill him because of art. They put his body in a chest. To celebrate their "perfect murder" they invite David's friends and family over, along with their headmaster from prep school named Rupert. They pretend that the party if for David's father and Phillip. Brandon, whom you know is more ruthless than Phillip, kind of gives hints at the party about the murder. Phillip, who was nervous from the beginning, starts to become even more nervous and drink. When everyone leaves Rupert discovers that that they murdered David. Rupert alerts the citizens by shooting a gun out they window.
Overall, this is a fantastic and very underrated movie by Alfred Hitchcock. I also find the ending to be brilliant. I mean, it is just so silent. Brandon is having a drink, Phillip is playing the piano, Rupert is sitting next to the chest with the gun in his hand, and in the background you can faintly hear people talking and police sirens. I also find the beginning of this movie to be very strong. I mean, it opens with a man being strangled. By the way, Hitchcock's cameo is at the beginning and he is seen from a bird's eye view. Anyway, this is a great movie that a fan of Hitchcock should not miss.
Recommended Films: Vertigo.
This was Jimmy Stewart's and Alfred Hitchcock's first film together. Someone asked me the other day if Stewart made Hitchcock or did Hitchcock make Stewart. The answer is neither, the two teamed up hear to make a cult classic that soon turned into a team that made many classics together for the next decade or so. It was as good a team as Scorsese and DeNiro or Burton and Depp.
As well as being one of Hitchcock's earliest successes, Rope proved to be arguably the director's most experimental picture, technically. Apart from being Hitchcock's first film shot in colour, Rope was filmed almost as a form of 'cinematic play', shot in seemingly a single nonstop take, one of the film's most intriguing and innovative features. Since the amount of work involved to actually film 80 minutes nonstop would have been nearly inconceivable, Hitchcock was wise enough to break down the film into several roughly eight minute installments, each transition marked by zooming into to a stationary object which obscured the screen (a man's back, a table, etc.) to mask the editing cut - a subtle and clever enough technique at first, though as the film progresses, the editing transitions become more and more tiresome and obvious, and one begins to wish Hitchcock might have found slightly more innovative ways of masking his camera. Despite this minor criticism, Hitchcock makes marvellous use of his camera considering the enclosed setting (apart from the opening establishing shot, the entire film is set inside an apartment loft) and the film boasts some of the most impressive cinematography of the decade.
The film's script, adapted closely from its stage incarnation, is an immensely intelligent and compelling piece of work, commendable for unflinchingly examining a rather morbid line of thought - the thrill of murder simply to prove one could, and for the ensuing intellectual exhilaration. Taking notes from writings by Nieztsche and Freud, the script blends its philosophical and psychological ideologies without missing a beat or dampening the suspense in the slightest. Though the film might come across as a bit "talky" at times, as proves the case for most theatrical adaptations, apart from a disappointingly static and anti-climatic ending, the dialogue crackles, and the characters presented are vivid and realistic, making the dark subject matter all the more unsettling. The lack of a consistent musical score compliments the tension wonderfully; the only background sound provided by an eerie solitary piano played by one of the characters. Rather than a more familiar tale of mistaken identity or the like, Rope proves to be one of Hitchcock's darker and more intellectual efforts.
As always, Hitchcock draws impeccable performances out of his stellar cast and it is difficult to find a weak note in a performance piece so airtight. James Stewart is on top form, playing mercifully against type as a cold and sardonic academic, and giving one of his strongest performances as a result. As the two murderers, Farley Granger and John Dall are superb, playing off each other with effortless grace and energy. While Granger may toe the line of melodrama periodically, his emoting is consistently believable for one in such a predicament, and the audience genuinely empathizes with his character for the majority of the film. Nonetheless, he is easily overshadowed by the show stealing Dall, who masterfully blends slimy charisma, fervent intellectualism and an undercurrent of menace without missing a beat. The supporting cast, in particular Joan Chandler as a feisty college friend and Edith Evanson as a suspicious housekeeper give similarly excellent performances - the disappointing exception being Sir Cedric Hardwicke, who comes across as too unemotional to create a credible character, but surrounded by such charismatic performances, such a minor complaint goes nearly unnoticed.
For one of Hitchcock's lesser known films, Rope proves a triumph of vision and cinematic prowess - an intelligent script given credibility by a highly capable cast, and complimented by innovative and fascinating technical maneuvers. To this day, Rope has lost none of its power or effortless class, and proves an excellent watch for any in the mood for a concise and captivating thriller as only Hitchcock could have delivered.