Rope (1948) Poster

(1948)

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9/10
Not Hitchcock's best but it's worth watching.
Skypark5 October 1999
Stewart is great as always. It keeps you in suspense all the way though . Great camera work ! The acting is awesome .
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9/10
Fascinating
plato-1129 December 1999
Very nice film. I love how Hitchcock manipulates you to loathe one of the killers, but feel sympathy towards the other one. Farley Granger and John Dall are great in their roles, but James Stewart seems slightly uncomfortable in his first role that isn't quite...wholesome.
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9/10
Timeless
redkiwi7 July 2000
Other than one's knowledge of the actors and the times they worked in can you actually really judge how old this film is.

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.
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9/10
Good feeling
Shapeshifter42-212 July 2000
This rather unusual Hitchcock movie (at least when it comes to the realisation) is well-acted, greatly staged and has a general good feeling about it. My favourites from this one is of course the uncomparable James Stewart and - the color! Just take a good look at the beatiful technicolor! Sadly enough it didn't do too well at the box-office and being considered an experiment. But after its re-release in 1984 those judgements have been mostly righteously updated...
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9/10
Surprisingly Suspenseful and Successful
gilroy11 April 2001
I hadn't heard too many great things about this film, but I walked away quite impressed with it. Stewart is absolutely fantastic as the former boys' school housemaster whose sees his idle philosophy taken to its gruesome end by his former students. The technical virtuosity (such being shot entirely in twelve takes) and masterful scene development is what one might expect of Hitchcock. The film takes place on one set only, and mostly in one room, producing just the right amount of claustrophobia. Although not a whodunit -- the crime is committed onscreen in the first minute -- it is highly suspenseful as the various players circle around the truth.

In some ways an update of "The Telltale Heart", _Rope_ stands on its own as a landmark and gripping film.
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9/10
Made me a fan...
Jacks Smirking Revenge9 September 2001
of the amazing, Alfred Hitchcock. I always thought that black and white movies sucked. I was wrong, and this was the movie that proved it. Brilliantly plotted, well acted, and amazingly funny(in a black humor kinda' way)this movies is definitely one of my favorite films of all time. so, head down to your local video store and pick this baby up!
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9/10
Great Suspense
Wipitvigils31 October 2001
Rope is a great suspense film for any time period. It displays how suspense can be captured with only two cameras, and how there are many different ways to use the camera to your age. I recommend for anyone, but it's best to be viewed by young adult to adult audiences to capture the full meaning of the movie.
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9/10
Unrecognized masterpiece
ufo00012 May 2002
Pros: Directing, cinematography, script.

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).
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9/10
FINE TURN
lostintwinpeaks3 August 2002
An excellent Hitchcock movie that received it's most recent remake in the empty Sandra Bullock thriller "Murder by Numbers".

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".
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9/10
Another good Hitchcock film
paul-daniels324 March 2003
'Rope' is a classic Alfred Hitchcock film, that is, it carries the same suspense, mystery, and feel that most Hitchcock movies have. 'Rope' was originally a play, and hence has a simple set and background. Except for a brief segment at the start of the film, the entire show takes place solely in one environment (specifically, an apartment). Basically, this film is about a murder committed by two young men who (just after committing the murder) host a party, and see if they are smart enough to get away with it. Brandon Shaw (played by John Dall) is a character that is a little insane; He is convinced that some people are better than others, and so (as he reasons), murder is acceptable in certain contexts. The 2002 motion picture 'Murder by Numbers' (directed by Barbet Schroeder) is a show based on a similar idea as 'Rope', there are key differences in between the two films, one being that 'Rope' is an all around better film. James Stewart takes on the role of a former teacher of the murderers, but early on in the show he figures that something is going on, and as such, act more like a detective and tries to figure out what Brandon and Phillip have been up to. Personally, I could tell early on in the movie how it was going to end, but knowing that did not make the film any less interesting or enjoyable.
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9/10
The Master at work. heh heh heh.
R_O_U_S3 February 2004
It's odd, but this one gets ignored even by most Hitchcock fans. Why? It's a wonderful twist on the usual murder-mystery motif: from the first scene, we know perfectly well that these two men have killed a third, simply to prove that they can. The suspense lies in their efforts to hold a dinner party while the corpse remains in the flat. Rope has everything - ten-minute uninterrupted takes with the cuts hidden by the camera moving behind someone's back; James Stewart; one of the most startlingly blatant depictions of homosexuality I know of from this time period. I think it's a shame that it's so unknown.
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9/10
***1/2 out of 4
ufo000122 March 2004
This movie was very enjoyable to watch and one of Hitchcock enjoyable movies. It centers around this two guys who want to commit the perfect murder, that seems to be a theme in hitchcock movies but of course these two do not fool James Stewart, who sort of plays a mentor to both the young men ( I really hate this guy) and he is on to them like white on rice. of course when they do confess to him they expect congratualtions but instead James like a cop-out turns them to the police and of course immediately recants his philosophy. But apart from that its not really the plot that makes me enjoy the movie, it is the way the movie is filemd, if i am correct in 8 minute increments where the camera does not break scene. Rumor was that Hitchcock wanted to film the whole movie like that but opted for this because the camera couldn't hold that much film. This filme represents want i like about Hitchcock, his style. Only Brian De Palma can match this guy in stylish filming and De Palma barely comes close. He is always groundbreaking in his films and thats why i give rope such a high grade.

Pros: Directing, Visual style, Dialogue.

Cons: One word, James Stewart

Bottom line: Very good Hitchcock Flick.
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9/10
One of Hitchcock's greatest films
FilmOtaku11 December 2004
There is so much to enjoy and admire in Alfred Hitchcock's 1948 film "Rope". Starring Farley Granger, Jimmy Stewart and John Dall, the plot is loosely based on Chicago's Leopold and Loeb thrill-killing case. Phillip (Granger) and Brandon (Dall) decide to murder their friend David in order to commit the "perfect murder". After strangling David in their apartment, they place his body in a trunk that sits in the living room until they leave for a planned vacation that evening. Before they do, however, they decide to entertain some dinner guests – David's father, aunt, fiancée, his fiancées former lover (and friend of theirs), and their headmaster from their old prep school, Rupert (Stewart). The party members sit in the living room and entertain one another, not realizing that the guest of honor that they are waiting for is actually lying dead mere feet from them. Tensions rise as the two killers try to maintain their cool to pull off their scheme, all the while trying to dodge the suspicions of their revered headmaster.

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
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9/10
Confined? Hardly
skistorm7 March 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This is an excellent film based on the principle of a one act play - don't know whether Hamilton's was or not. To criticise it for remaining within the apartment and lacking suspense strikes me as rather superficial.

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.
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9/10
Stunning Hitchcock Shocker -- Based on 1920s Leopold/Loeb Murder Trial
mdm-1127 May 2005
Dinner for eight (the guest of honor won't be joining the party). A gathering of former Ivy League chums, a girl they rivaled over, a highly admired former Professor all were acquainted with, a chatty maid, the father and aunt of a strangely absent guest of honor all gather for clever conversation and intriguing food and drink. The setting is typical Hitchcock, as is the twisted murder plot. The scene opens with the evil deed, then resumes with the imminent dinner.

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.
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9/10
The Art of Murder
moviemanMA19 October 2005
Alfred Hitchcock broke boundaries in the movie making industry. He overcame the odds to create not just film, but works of art. He could tell a story like no other and it has been copied ever since. Horror, thrillers, crime, and mysteries were his specialties. His unique sense of how a film should look is unparalleled by any other. One of the most creative and interesting to watch has got to be Rope.

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!
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9/10
Hitchcock's famous "experiment"
jluis19844 May 2006
To many critics, "Rope" is nowadays a film praised as an experiment that Hitchcock attempted with results that were slightly better than expected. Sure, the gimmick of the "one-shot" movie was an ambitious and challenging experiment that Hitchcock handled the best he could giving us a movie that manages to look as if had been shot in one continuous take. However, "Rope" is more than a gimmick, and while the technical aspect of the film will always overshadow the rest of the movie, it is without a doubt one of Hitchcock's best films on its own right.

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
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9/10
Despite not being my favorite Hitchcock film, it's still an incredible piece of work
Smells_Like_Cheese20 May 2006
The first thought that popped into my mind after completing the film was that it felt like a play, one set only and a mystery plot. Not too much editing needed to be done and the whole plot kept you in interest. It even lost you into the story of the two men who committed murder, and you became interested to learn more about the characters and their development, which I thought was clever.

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.

9/10
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9/10
Great experimental Hitchcock movie
UlrikSander3 November 2006
The big strength of ROPE (1948) is that it manages to be Alfred Hitchcock's possibly most experimental movie ever, while exploring one of Hitchcock's favorite themes, guilt, at the same time. It's experimental, because Hitckcock wanted ROPE to have no cuts in it whatsoever, which he almost succeeded in achieving. There's an invisible cut every tenth minute (the camera zooms in on a character's black suit while the cut takes place) which was necessary, because 35mm film rolls only lasts 10 minutes, and there are three visible cuts, which were necessary for practical reasons, because back then, cinemas replaced the film roll three times during a movie. Hitchcock's artistic reason for the not-cuts-allowed rule was to melt the actual time and the fictive time together. The story lasts 105 minutes, and so does the story. Just as with Lars von Trier's Dogme95 rules in IDIOTERNE (1998), the rule helps tell the story. The lack of cuts gives the movie a theatrical feel, which is ironic, because Hitchcock believed that movies were to be told trough images, and not dialog. On the hand, Hitchock has many times disproved this theory, as a lot of his best movies are dialog-based.

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
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9/10
astounding
rksubbu5 November 2006
the subtle hint of the homosexual murderers is actually revealed by the bonus materials. this movie is not made. it is truly engineered. the camera angle where the maid clears up the table tells a short story by itself. although the viewers know what is in store, the whole scene adds up to the tension. when i heard the bonus material, i agreed with the screen play writer that the movie should have kept the idea of NOT showing the killing in the beginning. it would have added to the tension a lot more.

the idea of not bringing the mother, but the aunt was thinking out of the box. it brought humor to the tension.
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9/10
In the tangle of lies, there lies a tangle of rope...
RJBurke194231 December 2006
Some call this film Hitchcock's best, but when released in 1948, most of the critics hardly bothered to revue it. In some place in USA, it was actually banned; in others, it had to be severely cut before it could be shown.

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.
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9/10
Underrated? Oh, Yeah (SPOILERS)
I_Am_The_Taylrus3 March 2007
Warning: Spoilers
SPOILERS

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.

9/10

Recommended Films: Vertigo.
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9/10
"A Tell-Tale ROPE"
ross_b13 April 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Alfred Hitchcock is to film as Edgar Allen Poe was to stories of fear and terror in the nineteenth century. It is no secret that Hitchcock is the master of suspense and clearly uses Poe as a major inspiration throughout his life's work but this is most obvious because of the clear aspirations towards Poe's most famous short story, The Tell-Tale Heart. Two men murder another man for no reason whatsoever and one is driven crazy from the guilt of being able to laugh and have a party with the friends, parents, and fiancée in the same room as the carcass and crime scene of the murder victims body. This movie is just as genius as the ending scene of a tell tale heart when the man cannot deal with the Heart beat of guilt he hears in his head. Although not one of his greatest this film is one of the many that secures Hitchcock's place in the ages as one of the greatest directors and how he can take an average story of murder and turn it into a vile terribly thrilling piece of art.

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.
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9/10
Hitchcock's dark reflection on the glamour of murder
pyrocitor24 August 2007
If anyone may have had doubts that a play based on such macabre and controversial subject matter as murder for the sake of intellectual excitement could be successfully adapted into a feature film suitable for audiences, visionary director Alfred Hitchcock proved more than up to the challenge of meeting such apprehension head on. Like the majority of Hitchcock's other celebrated works, Rope was based on an existing literary work (Patrick Hamilton's play, which originated on the London stage) and tapped into such familiar themes as the perverse glamour and fascination induced by the concept of murder. Despite the fact that many of his classic works exploring such areas of interest were made later on (Strangers on a Train and Rear Window being the most obvious examples) Hitchcock proves equally comfortable delving into his predominant area of interest in Rope as in any of his later works, culminating in a devastatingly powerful and incessantly interesting vintage film.

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.

-9/10
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