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Rope (1948)

Cast: James Stewart, James Stewart, John Dall, more...
Director: Alfred Hitchcock, Alfred Hitchcock
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Rating:
Studio: Universal Studios
Genre: Classics, Suspense/Thriller, Classic Drama, Classic Crime, Crime
Running Time: 81 min.
Languages: English, Spanish, French
Subtitles: English
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Recently Rented By Bowwow


Synopsis
Rope, Alfred Hitchcock's first color film, was adapted from Patrick Hamilton's stage play Rope's End by no less than Hume Cronyn. Loosely inspired by the Leopold-Loeb case, the plot concerns two implicitly homosexual college chums, played by Farley Granger and John Dall. Their heads filled with Nietzchean philosophy by their kindly professor James Stewart, Granger and Dall kill a third friend just for the thrill of it. The boys hide the body in an antique chest in the middle of their posh apartment, then perversely arrange to hold a dinner party around the chest, inviting the victim's family, friends and fiancee (Joan Chandler), as well as their intellectual role-model Stewart. As the guests wander obliviously around the sealed chest, the killers make snippy, veiled comments about their deed--never going so far as to reveal the existence of the body nor their involvement in the murder. As all the guests file out, however, professor Stewart begins to suspect that something is amiss. In Rope, Hitchcock attempted the daunting technical challenge of filming the entire picture in one long, seemingly uninterrupted take. Actually, there are several edits in the movie: since a reel of film was divided into two ten-minute minireels back in 1948, the internal reel-breaks are "fudged" by having a dark object briefly obscure the camera lens, sustaining the illusion that no editing has taken place. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Great Attempt at Totally Real-Time Storytelling by BrodiesGirl July 30, 2005 - 3:20 AM PDT
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2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
Wow. I remember watching this movie at a fairly young age, probably 13, when I was on my heavy Hitchcock kick. I watched this movie several times, fascinated at the "real-time" approach to filming combined with the guilt-ridden suspense of Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart."
I was fascinated at the aproach of time within a movie. This is one of the earliest memories I have of a movie filmed differently than any other I had ever seen.
Rather than the traditional linear narrative storyline, heavily edited with cuts, Rope takes place in basically one apartment and utilizes the small space to build a heated drama. Rope also tries to create the sense of one long, continuous take with a single camera view.

Rope is not one of Hitchcock's masterpieces, by any means, but I watched this at least fifteen times during my teenage years, riveted each time because Hitchcock is a master of building intense anticipation and suspense. I am also obviously biased toward the movie since I saw it at a young age, it affected a lot of my moviegoing experiences from then on. This movie also opened a window to me which revealed that not all movies before 1968 followed "the rules."




GreenCine Member Rating
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(Average 7.36)
477 Votes
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Jonathan Rosenbaum's Alternative List to the AFI's
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From Rosenbaum's 1998 article in the Chicago Reader: List-o-mania, Or How I Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love American Movies (Films were listed alphabetically only.)
etaviotal
Noir Themes & Sinister Schemes
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Dark themed films of murder, scams, cons, gangsters, femme fatales and nefarious deeds.
DGood

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