Rope

1948

Crime / Drama / Mystery / Thriller

9
IMDb Rating 8 10 110714

Synopsis


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July 17, 2018 at 02:58 AM

Cast

Alfred Hitchcock as Man Walking in Street After Opening Credits
James Stewart as Rupert Cadell
Farley Granger as Phillip
Cedric Hardwicke as Mr. Kentley
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
649.01 MB
1280*942
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 20 min
P/S 2 / 15
1.25 GB
1456*1072
English
NR
23.976 fps
1hr 20 min
P/S 5 / 22

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Peter Zullmmann 8 / 10

Hitchcock And Actors

You know the quote about Actors being cattle. Hitchcock corrected saying he never said that actors were cattle what he said was that actors "should be treated" like cattle. Great actors give perfect performances in Hitchcok films. Think of Grant and Bergman in Notorious, Cotten in Shadow Of A Doubt not to mention Anthony Perkins in Psycho. Often the improbabilities of the plot become totally credible by the credibility of the performances. Here, John Dall and Farley Granger act and act to outrageously that it's impossible to believe they can get away with it for more than five minutes. Their characters are impossible to warm up to like it happened with Anthony Perkins in Psycho or with Colin Firth in Apartment Zero, no matter how sickly those characters are you can't help connect with their humanity. Hitchcock in Rope seemed much more taken by the technical wizardry and it is unquestionably fun to watch. So Rope provided me with superficial pleasures and sometimes that's enough.

Reviewed by MatBrewster 8 / 10

More Than Just a Technical Achievement

This 1948 Hitchcock film is mostly noted for its technical achievements. Hitchcock filmed this story, about two well-to-do rich kids who decide to commit a murder for the fun of it, as a play. Which, it in fact, originally was, though based in London and not New York. Technical limitations did not enable his original vision of making the entire picture one continuous long shot. Instead it is made up of several 8 minute continuous shots. This was the length of film that fit into one reel. Using some very inventive cutting techniques the film appears as if it was filmed all in one take. This is more impressive when you see the actual size that color film cameras were during this time period. They were absolutely enormous, bigger than a man standing. To move the camera in and around the small stage space, many of the set pieces were set on casters and rolled about to keep out of the way of the camera. Some of the actors were noted in saying that they worried every time they sat down, that there might not be a chair for them to fall into. Another achievement of the film is in terms of lighting. The apartment that the entire film is set in has several large windows overlooking the city. As the movie is more or less uninterrupted from start to finish we see the lighting change as the sun begins to set and night falls. It is a testament to this achievement that upon first viewing you don't really notice the effect. Yet, the filmmakers took great pains to get it to look realistic, staging numerous re-shoots for the final few scenes.

Though the technical achievements are quite wonderful, it is a shame that they have overshadowed what it really a very good bit of suspense. It seems the two high society murderers have planned a dinner party just after the murder. They store the corpse in a wood box that is featured prominently in the midst of the dinner. This creates an excellent mix of suspense and the macabre. Throughout the party the murderers become more unraveled even as they are enjoying their little game.

All of the acting is quite good. The two murderer (John Dall and Farley Granger) do a fine job of playing intellectual, society playboys, with a desire for excitement. It is slightly annoying watching their excited, nervous mannerisms (especially some stuttering by Jon Dall) but it is fitting with the characters. Their former instructor, Rupert Cadell, is played magnificently by the impeccable James Stewart. This is a bit of departure from Stewarts typical roles. Here he is a tough, cynical intellectual. This was his first of four collaborations between Stewart and Hitchock and it is hard to imagine his role as Scottie in Vertigo without having first played in this movie.

The story unravels in typical Hitchock fashion. The suspense is built, then lessoned by some well timed comedy, and then built again to a final crescendo. Hitchcock was excellent as a technical director and allowed his actors the breathing room they needed for fine performances. In the end I left the picture feeling more excited about the superb storytelling than any particular technical achievement. It is a testament to his craft, that Hitchock allows you to leave a picture being enamored with his story over his technical achievements. Some of the greatest effects are those you don't notice because they seem so natural and real.

Alfred Hitchock manages a triumph of technical brilliance and suspense in Rope. It's influence in the technical realm of cinema far outshines any effect the story has on future movies. This is a shame, for the story being told is one of suspense, macabre and excitement.

Like this review? Go to www.midnitcafe.blogspot for more.

Reviewed by nycritic 8 / 10

One Dead Body in Search of its Killers.

Alfred Hitchcock was a lover of the dark and the perverse hidden beneath smiles and complacency and in his relatively sparse ROPE, perversity runs amok and at times seems ready to burst itself at the seams. Based on the Leopold-Loeb murders, this is a pretty simple premise with no shock tactics, no surprise ending, but it's all mounting tension.

John Dall and Farley Granger play college students Brandon Shaw and Phillip Morgan -- lovers even though it's all implicit -- who kick the first scene strangling another college mate, played by Dick Hogan. The instrument they use is the title of the film and will make its appearance on more than one occasion which will at one point send poor Morgan over the edge as he is consumed with guilt and fear. Nevertheless, they have planned a dinner party over a trunk holding Hogan's body, and as the guests arrive, they begin an increasingly dark game of cat and mouse and at one point it seems they actually want to be discovered, but it's all a ruse. Shaw, the Machiavellian of the piece, admires writer and thinker Rupert Cadell played by James Stewart and has materialized Cadell's bleak thoughts by committing an act of murder. What he doesn't know is that Cadell will force them not only to confess to the murder, but to surrender to justice.

ROPE is an interesting film in the way it treats its homosexual subtext. Hayes Code aside, you don't have to see an actual physical contact to know that Shaw and Morgan are lovers and that Dall is clearly the dominant male to Morgan's almost effeminate, weaker, submissive male. There also seems to be some unexplored subtext involving the blind admiration Shaw feels for Cadell, who's wife is never mentioned and who's books told about the 'darkness' of the world. This is not implying Cadell is also homosexual, but the message is certainly clear due to the fact the script had it that Cadell had had a fling with one of the students. Why else would Shaw talk to Cadell with puppy dog eyes, and go to such lengths to impress him? At a time when being gay was unspoken of finding each other in itself was anything less than a miracle, especially if this someone had some deep thoughts which were mutual. Natural for Shaw to want to catch his eye, win Cadell's approval, not knowing he had twisted his work and made it ugly.

Technically, again, the Director proved he knew his "ropes" in terms of how he wanted us to see his picture. The suspense he creates doesn't lie in will the killer be revealed -- had he not included the opening shot of David's murder we might wonder if they actually had done the deed or were merely trying to shock their guests -- but how long will it take for their murder to be revealed. Long takes make us see the trunk at all times, never forgetting that despite the jokes and witty banter about astrology, there is a corpse waiting to be found. Along the way, Hitchcock allows his actors to talk about murder and play with the "where is David" motif until it's certain something must happen, and then, finally, it does, in the form of Jimmy Stewart's deft handling of the scene in which he unmasks the boys. Suspenseful, funny, and ultimately tragic: this sums up the experience of watching ROPE.

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