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Rope (1948)

Rope (1948)




James Stewart

John Dall

Farley Granger

Joan Chandler

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock

Rope is an artwork painted by the late great Alfred Hitchcock. The movie is set to be happening in real time, it has this feel like everything was done in one long take (which happens to be segments done in one long take). Its artistry gives us right to clap for both Hitchcock and the editor, William H. Ziegler. Rope takes a dive into the deep mind of someone who is just rotten to the core. The movie with its brilliant narrative, is a satisfying crime thriller about two men trying to commit the perfect crime.

Rope is an adaptation of a 1929 play of the same name, and it is one of Hitchcock’s first films to be shot in Technicolor. The movie also has some fantastic acting, which is better seen than explained, the overwhelming confidence of Brandon (John Dall), the shakiness of Philip (Farley Granger) and the intellectual assertiveness of Rupert (James Stewart).

The plot starts with a murder of a man named David, by Brandon and his friend Philip. You will think after this, the men will get rid of the body, or do something more reasonable. What we got is a Brandon wanting to show off with Philip wanting most to run. Brandon hid the body in a table, set a buffet on it and invited as guest Janet (David’s girl), Kenneth (Janet’s former boyfriend), Rupert (Housemaster of Brandon, Philip, David and Kenneth). Also two other people were in attendance.

Brandon had a weird plan, to survive the night without any being the wiser of where David’s body is and to impress Rupert. Rupert used to talk about murder is is noted of saying Murder as a crime for most men, but a privilege for the few.

The movie is about Brandon trying to getaway with his crime of the perfect murder with the murdered underneath the noses of the people who know David. Then Rupert trying to figure out what is going on based on what he senses around Brandon and Philip.

You can tell that the dialog needs more work, and that there is a space issue, based on the fact that the movie has everything happening in one place there is a sense of confinement. Regardless you will have to award Hitchcock some praise for trying. Because even though the editing was good, you get the feeling that if the movie was done today the editing would have been world class. I think what pushes this movie over the top is the acting of the cast and the supporting cast, as their performances made up for many of the movie’s lapses and makes this movie one to see.

The is a weird tense sexual thing between the characters Brandon and Philip, I think it was more intentional than just coincidence. Even when Kenneth was talking about Rupert he makes the odd noting of how Brandon used to sit up with Rupert hanging on to his words. As at the time of release the movie did not draw in much audience to turn this movie to a hit.

But I still believe is one of the less celebrated works of the master story teller, Alfred Hitchcock.


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