Producer(s): Alfred Hitchcock, Sydney Birnstein
Cast: John Dall, Farley Granger, James Stewart, Joan Chandler, Sir Cedrick Hardwick, Douglas Dick
Rope is an American Crime film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and is mostly well know for its lack of editing. It tells the story of two young men (Brandon and Philip) who strangle their inferior classmate, hide his body in a trunk of their apartment and invite guests to a dinner party in the same apartment as a means to challenge the perfection of their crime. Though it lacks in excitement in terms of its story, there are some tense scenes worth talking about as it still remains a solid suspense effort and is recognised as Hitchcock's most challenging technical achievement. The film was done by continuous long takes with a few cuts that were done in a way the viewer wouldn't even notice and is a living proof that there is no need of complicated editing to accomplish something as big as that. As Ebert, a film critic mentioned: "Alfred Hitchcock
|FIG.2: The camera focusing on the 2 main characters'|
|FIG.3: The maid clearing the "disguised" coffin.|
|FIG.4 Philip's hands covered in blood.|
is the way that Hitchcock is able to still maintain the semblance of a passage of great time, even though it all took place in real time. Using the one window to the outside world of the city skyline of Manhattan as a mark the passage of time he tricks the audience by starting the film with bright daylight and progressively darkens it. The whole dinner party lasted for less than an hour but Hitchcock's trick certainly worked and magically made it last for much longer.
Finally, another important thing about Rope was its homosexual subtext. At the time Hitchcock was unable to raise such thing directly but the homoerotic element between Brandon and Philip was shown even from the beginning of the movie when they were both stuffing the corpse in the piece of furniture. This could have been one the filmakers' first attempts during that time to show how homosexuality should not be considered as a taboo but as a person's choice which should be respected and accepted by the public.
To sum up, Rope is one of the masterpieces well worth watching not just for the story and the meaning hidden behind it but for its technical achievements too. Its camera movements were used to establish mood, create tense moments and give the feeling of 'space'. Even in modern cinema, filmakers have used his technique to create amazing films. It is proof that simplicity can achieve much more. " is one of the most psychologically disturbing and thought-provoking films of Hitchcock’s career. The viewer is drawn into the “Will they get caught?” game played by Morgan and Shaw with the dinner guests. Like Morgan exclaims, " "Cat and mouse, cat and mouse. But which is the cat and which is the mouse?" is an exciting ride that is worth a look by any fan of thrillers and mysteries, and especially for anyone who considers themselves a fan of Hitchcock." (Mashuga.2008).
Ebert, Roger (1984) Film Review At: http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19840615/REVIEWS/811069998/1023 (accessed on 5/2/2011)
Jennie Kermode(2006) Film Review At: http://www.eyeforfilm.co.uk/reviews.php?id=7649 (accessed on 5/2/2011)
Jennifer L. Mashuga (2008) Film Review Athttp://www.suite101.com/content/film-review-rope-a83684 (accessed on 5/2/2011)
List of Illustrations
FIG.1: Film Poster At: http://www.flickr.com/photos/alfredhitchcock/4710908105/ (accessed on 5/2/2011)
FIG.2: Film Still At: http://www.alldownloadlinks.com/rope-1948-repost_2866231275675903.html (accessed on 5/2/2011)
FIG.3: Film Still At: http://www.slantmagazine.com/house/2010/05/the-conversations-minor-hitchcock/(accessed on 5/2/2011)
FIG.4: Screen Shot captured on youtube At: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4EaexKXItpU&feature=related(accessed on 5/2/2011)