Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Writer: Hume Cronyn (Adaptation), Arthur Laurents (Screenplay), Patrick Hamilton (Play), Ben Hecht
Stars: James Stewart, John Dall and Farley Granger
Studio: Warner Bros.
t of rare books for David’s father. Brandon nearly wants someone to guess, all the while celebrating his own superiority, both to David, to Phillip, and to the dinner guests.
Hollywood legend James Stewart (more colloquially known as Jimmy Stewart) takes on the role of Rupert Cadell, the former boarding school teacher of both the murderers and their victim, a quiet and methodical man who makes constant study of his surroundings and companions. Brandon has invited their old teacher not only to justify his actions – for it was Cadell’s late night philosophizing that had set the idea of superiority as justification of murder in young Brandon’s mind. Throughout the film it is clear that Cadell knows there is much more going on than is evident on the surface, and his drive to figure it all out sends Phillip into convulve fear.
A true testament to artistic filmmaking, Rope takes place primarily in a ngle setting: the penthouse parlor. Unique camera angles that follow players as they move, even in the round, and pass behind them in an attempt to portray the film in a ngle, uninterrupted shot. The claustrophobic feeling created by holding most of the action in a ngle room helps to amp up the general feeling of anxiety that the film creates, leaving the audience as edgy and nervous as the guilty Phillip. Throughout the film, the audience knows that David’s body is hidden in plain ght, just waiting to be discovered; each time someone edges towards the trunk, touches it, sets down their drink, or moves to reach inde, the tenon grows. It is truly a fabulous piece of psychological film work.
While many other Hitchcock films have gained far more praise and renown, Rope is definitely not a film to be overlooked. It’s not necessarily one for consummate gorehounds, but if you’re looking for a great suspenseful horror film with substance, this one is for you.