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A 1948 film written by Hume Cronyn and Arthur Laurents, produced and directed by Alfred Hitchcock.

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A Forgotten Hitchcock Classic

  • Dec 9, 2009

A Forgotten Hitchcock Classic

Amos Lassen

"Rope" is Alfred Hitchcock's first color film and it is a compelling view. What Hitchcock does here and what he has always done so well is to show the selfishness and superficiality of America's culture by giving us two guys who think of themselves as intellectuals. Brandon and Phillip twist Nietzche's words to cover up a crime and then use a party as a fa├žade. The film looks beneath social conventions.
The film is loosely based on the Leopold-Loeb murder case. It involves two friends who want to commit the perfect murder. This murder is committed within minutes of the opening credits and once committed; we watch the differences of the two men unfold before our very eyes. They put the body in the very spot where people will have a party and we see Phillip's (Farley Granger) passiveness and paranoia. When Rupert Goodell (James Stewart) comes to the party, he knows something is not right and Brandon (John Dall), who is Phillip's opposite, shows just how sly and sneaky he is. He is a malicious person who gets a thrill from having committed the murder but also from trying to be brazen and get away with it openly.
The screenplay is wonderful. There is little action as this is basically a talky film. Suspense continues to build and the last twenty minutes of the film are nerve-wracking intense. The strange behavior of Brandon and Phillip heightens the suspense and the tension and the rope that is used to commit the murder is on view almost all through the film. The viewer finds himself hoping that the two will not get caught which is one of Hitchcock's touches of brilliance.
Made in the 1940's, the film has held up well and this is a real treat to watch.

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More Rope (1948 movie) reviews
review by . June 14, 2012
Just okay; not great
Two pompous young men (John Dall, Farley Granger) commit a murder just for the thrill and satisfaction of pulling off the perfect crime. They hide the body in their living room and then host a cocktail party as if nothing happened. But one guest, their old prep school house master (James Stewart), is suspicious right from the start.      Hitchcock wanted to experiment in filming longer takes, up to ten minutes long, rather than the typical take of just a few seconds. It makes …
Quick Tip by . August 24, 2010
A great performance by James Stewart and an interesting look at how Hitchcock's techniques developed with the use of the camera and transitions.
review by . December 14, 2008
Rope 1
Though "Rope" is by no means one of Alfred Hitchcock's best known films it ranks as one of my favorites.  The story revolves around two college students who decide to commit murder "just for the fun of it".  To make things even more interesting the boys decide to have a party with their deceased friends corpse hidden right in the the room!   They are so bold as to invite the victims fiancee and parents as well!   It looks for all the world …
review by . December 02, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: It is short      Cons: Even the best make mistakes, Rope counts for about a dozen      The Bottom Line: There is not one single thing I can think of to inspire anyone to watch this failed experiment.       Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie''s plot.   Rope is famous for its one continuous “take.”  Um . . . to quote a professor of mine who loved movies but didn’t …
review by . June 01, 2007
"Rope," Alfred Hitchcock's first color film, is an adaptation of the play by Patrick Hamilton, which was re-named "Rope's End" when it hit Broadway. It is also loosely based upon the real-life Leopold/Loeb case. Like Hitchcock's "Dial M for Murder," "Rope" feels like it was created for the stage, using only one set and virtually no music. One of the most intriguing aspects of the film is that it was filmed in "real time," meaning that the 80 minutes which the film spans is intended to be a straight …
About the reviewer
Amos Lassen ()
Ranked #208
I am an academic who reivews movies and books of interest to the GLBT and Jewish communities.   I came to Arkansas after having been relocated here due to Hurricane Katrina. I was living in … more
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About this movie


Rope is a 1948 film written by Hume Cronyn and Arthur Laurents, produced and directed by Alfred Hitchcock, and starring James Stewart, John Dall and Farley Granger. It is the first of Hitchcock's Technicolor films, and is notable for taking place in real time and being edited so as to appear as a single continuous shot.

The film was based on the play Rope by Patrick Hamilton, which was said to be inspired by the real-life murder of fourteen-year-old Bobby Franks in 1924 by two University of Chicago students named Leopold and Loeb who simply wanted to show that they could commit a murder and get away with it. However, they were both arrested and received long prison terms.

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Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Genre: Drama
Release Date: August 28, 1948
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Runtime: 1hr 25min
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