Rope

Rope

4.5 8
Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Cast: Alfred Hitchcock, James Stewart, John Dall, Farley Granger

     
 

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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 JamesSee more details below

Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Though it lacks the excitement of his best works, Rope remains a solid suspense effort that is recognized as one of Alfred Hitchcock’s most technically challenging films. Since the entire story two young men commit murder for sport, hide the body in a chest, then celebrate the effort by having a party whose guests include the victim's father and girlfriend occurs in real time in one setting, Hitchcock shot Rope in a series of continuous ten-minute takes. Furniture and walls were mounted on rails so they could be silently moved to allow for the camera's access. The onscreen action required no less innovation and the cast, including Farley Granger, John Dall, and James Stewart, handles the lengthy scenes brilliantly. Technical merits aside, the picture's real sparkplug is Stewart. The actor single-handedly electrifies the film with his stellar performance as a suspicious college professor. The film is loosely based on the case of famous thrill-killers Leopold and Loeb, who were homosexual lovers; though it is never explicitly stated due to 1940s censorship rules, Hitchcock makes it apparent that Granger and Dall are playing homosexuals. Rope marked two other Hitchcock firsts: it was the first picture he shot in color and it was the first one he produced. The director's cameo is the subject of much debate. Some claim he is seen during the opening credits crossing the street, but the more likely appearance is at the film's one-hour mark, where his famous countenance can be seen in a distant neon "Reduco" sign in the city background. Patrick Legare

Product Details

Release Date:
08/03/1999
UPC:
0096898480932
Original Release:
1948
Rating:
PG
Source:
Universal Studios

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
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

Technical Credits
Alfred Hitchcock Director,Producer
Adrian Costumes/Costume Designer
Dinsmore Alter Special Effects
Ben Hecht Screenwriter
Sidney Bernstein Producer
Howard Bristol Set Decoration/Design
David Buttolph Score Composer
Hume Cronyn Screenwriter
Lowell J. Farrell Asst. Director
Perry Ferguson Art Director
Leo F. Forbstein Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Emile Kuri Set Decoration/Design
Arthur Laurents Screenwriter
William Skall Cinematographer
Joseph A. Valentine Cinematographer
Perc Westmore Makeup
William H. Ziegler Editor

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