RopeDirector: Alfred Hitchcock
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 Nietzschean 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.
- Release Date:
- Original Release:
- Universal Studios
Cast & Crew
|James Stewart||Rupert Cadell|
|John Dall||Brandon Shaw|
|Farley Granger||Phillip Morgan|
|Cedric Hardwicke||Mr. Kentley|
|Constance Collier||Mrs. Atwater|
|Joan Chandler||Janet Walker|
|Douglas Dick||Kenneth Lawrence|
|Edith Evanson||Mrs. Wilson the Governess|
|Dick Hogan||David Kentley|
|Dinsmore Alter||Special Effects|
|Howard Bristol||Set Decoration/Design|
|David Buttolph||Score Composer|
|Lowell J. Farrell||Asst. Director|
|Perry Ferguson||Art Director|
|Leo F. Forbstein||Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision|
|Emile Kuri||Set Decoration/Design|
|Joseph A. Valentine||Cinematographer|
|William H. Ziegler||Editor|
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I love Alfred Hitchcock and Jimmy Stewart solo and better together, but their first collaboration could have been better. Jimmy Stewart holds the picture together with his top notch performance as the curious boarding school head master to John Dall and Farley Granger. The storyline is a little grotesque, but enjoyable with Hitch's first crack at color films, and long, uncut takes in the scenes using thousands of feet of film at once. Good!
Great, but a bit grotesque especially when Brandon tied up some books for David's dad with the same rope that he had used to kill David with, and then stuffing the body under a coffin that they serve a dinner on (inviting all of David's friends and parents) but overall it was great cast. I kept thinking, 'when will he find out?' all during it.
This film was fantastic! I had seen it when I was much younger and remembered it being good, but having just re-watched it I was struck by how much it felt like a filmed play. The very long shots helped establish the real-time aspect of this thrilling story and Hitchcock's brilliant directing really shines. Great performances all around and with any Hitchcock picture, every moment feels like it was carefully thought out and executed for the greatest effect. Watching Jimmy Stewart (Rupert) piece together the evidence was as exciting as watching John Dall (Brandon) and Farley Granger (Phillip) try to keep it together. I've read that Hitchcock wasn't particularly fond of this film, and I'll grant that he certainly has created better films, but I'd take an evening of Rope over an evening of Final Destination 3 any day.
When two wealthy and bored young men decide to do away with an old prep-school friend, that's bad enough. These two are perverse enough to decide to have a party with his body lying in the trunk they are serving food from. And if that's not enough, the guest list includes the girlfriend, their friend's parents, the girlfriend's ex-boyfriend and the housemaster from their prepschool (James Stewart). Hithcock does an amazing job, once again, of having this whole film take place from this one apartment. You see the two young men start fighting each other as the evening wears on and people start asking questions. It is a night fraught with tension right up to the end.