Alfred Hitchcock Blogathon: Rope (1948)

rope poster

SYNOPSIS: Brandon and Philip are two young men who share a New York apartment. They consider themselves intellectually superior to their friend David Kentley and as a consequence decide to murder him. Together they strangle David with a rope and placing the body in an old chest, they proceed to hold a small party. The guests include David’s father, his fiancée Janet and their old schoolteacher Rupert from whom they mistakenly took their ideas. As Brandon becomes increasingly more daring, Rupert begins to suspect. – via IMDB

The premise is pretty interesting, and I think the movie does incredibly well seeing as it essentially takes place in three rooms, of which the main room is the study, where Brandon (John Dall) and Phillip (Farley Granger) murdered David Kentley (Dick Hogan). Rupert Cadell (James Stewart), their mentor, is definitely more suspicious of the strange dinner party as well as the inside jokes and insinuations made by Brandon to Phillip, as well as Brandon’s excitement over a seemingly dull party.

rope dinner party

The views expressed by Brandon (more vocally than Phillip) seem to be ideas that were discussed in depth and detail with Rupert. Their perfect crime, having disposed of an inferior being, shows Brandon play many games, including bringing David’s girlfriend, Janet (Joan Chandler) to dinner to spend time with her ex, Kenneth (Douglas Dick), to attempt to bring them back together again. It would seem it would be for reconciliation, but soon it becomes evident that everything is just an elaborate game for Brandon. Phillip is having a meltdown about what they have done, displaying a conscious, whereas Brandon really is the psychopath.

The movie kept me engaged for the duration of it, no matter the fact that it was in an extremely closed environment. The grisly concept of a dinner served from a coffin was heavy, as well as the views which Brandon expressed, and the fear that seized Philip, and Rupert sniffing around, growing more and more suspicious of David’s absence from the dinner party, a point that is highlighted over and over again throughout the duration of the evening. The movie was shot well, and I enjoyed the colour used for the lighting outside, as well as the pulsing green and red of the neon signs when night officially falls. The conversations that were shared were also interesting, and I enjoyed the humour that arose from time to time, too.

rope rupert philip brandon

An interesting film to check out no doubt, and very well done for its time. However, if you are not into very talkative movies or anything like that, I would recommend that you skip over this one (yes PSC, that was thinking of you)!

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21 thoughts on “Alfred Hitchcock Blogathon: Rope (1948)

  1. Flashback/Backslide says:

    For a second I thought Ben Affleck was the guy dressed in blue standing in your second picture (I think it’s John Dall?). But just for a second. This sounds good! I’ll have to see it when I’m in the mood for a drama. The color does look really nice in that second picture with the sunset.

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    • Zoë says:

      Haha, I just went back and looked now and you are right, if you just glance at him you would think it is Ben Affleck!

      Very pretty, I agree. Yeah, when you have time for a drama, this is a decent watch.

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  2. theipc says:

    Caringest JB,

    This one sounds good, in essence, but if it’s just three people standing around talking for two hours, I might hang myself with some rope.

    THANK YOU!!!

    Love,

    PSC

    Like

  3. Niall McArdle says:

    this is the film that Hitch famously filmed in one take … well, several takes, each of ten minutes, to give the impression of one continuous shot. Technically it’s a tour de force … I always disliked Stewart in the role of the Professor, though

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    • Zoë says:

      Wow, that’s an interesting tidbit, I had no idea! I think it came together very well. You didn’t? I thought he was pretty good, I enjoyed him, but there were times where he didn’t fit, I can agree there.

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      • Niall McArdle says:

        oh, don’t misunderstand, i do like the film, and Hitch definitely gets kudos for trying to push the bounds with his camera work. I just am not a huge fan of Stewart in the picture. I can’t quite say why, but he seems wrong. He’s perfect in Rear Window and Vertigo, but not in this picture for some reason. Also, I am not a huge fan of Farley Granger: i have always found him very annoying. there’s a good article here about the making of the film: http://www.openculture.com/2013/11/the-10-hidden-cuts-in-rope.html

        Liked by 1 person

      • Zoë says:

        Thanks Niall, heading over there to check it out now! To be honest, Rear Window and Vertigo are both on my watch list. I might have seen some of them years ago, but nothing recently, so I haven’t seen him in anything aside from this really. Granger is a little whiney (while it worked for this, I can see it becoming an issue with other roles).

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  4. ruth says:

    Great review Zoe! I’ve been wanting to check this out for ages. I do like James Stewart.

    Btw, I posted a Hitchcock-related post today, inspired by your blogathon, but it’s more of a recap to the filming location of The Birds 😉

    Like

    • Zoë says:

      Thank you Ruth! I think you might like this one, and Stewart is entertaining.

      Ooooh, I didn’t get to read any posts yesterday, I will be heading over there to check it out now! 🙂

      Like

  5. Tom says:

    “They consider themselves intellectually superior to their friend David Kentley and as a consequence decide to murder him.” — naturally, as people do. . . .

    Great review friend!!!!!! Rope was one I definitely wanted to get to, and still probably will sooner rather than later.

    Liked by 1 person

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