This weeks film is intense thriller Rope which makes two landmarks for this challenge. Firstly it is the first colour film, which is nice, and secondly it is the film that before this challenge began I would have stated as my favourite Hitchcock film.

WHAT HAPPENED?

Brandon (John Dall) and Philip (Farley Granger) kill one of their school friends just for the ‘art of murder’, hide the body in their apartment and then throw a party inviting their deceased friends parents and their old housekeeper from school (James Stewart).

THE GOOD

The main talking point about the film is the experimental nature of it, the entire film is shot as if it’s a single take (there are several hidden cuts), something that has often been attempted in cinema but rarely pays off. In this film however the effect is quite astounding as it gives a real claustrophobic atmosphere to the piece; the audience is never allowed to rest and or leave the room. Something exciting is always happening and the effect leads to great tension particularly as the film reaches its climax.

Because of the single shot nature and the fact the piece is very performance based and the dialogue is some of the best of any Hitchcock film seen so far. The contrasting personalities of the two lead characters are perfectly performed by Granger and Dall whilst Stewart is also excellent as the schoolmaster whose suspicions are aroused.

 

ImageThere are a few fantastic moments especially regarding the use of the titular rope. Every time the piece of rope is in shot the tension within the scene seems to rise, an effect that is astounding considering the simplicity of it.

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THE BAD

My main flaw with the film is that because it is so full on with something always happening, it is difficult at times to consider the true meaning of everything that is said. The pacing of the film is incredible fast and the use of a single shot makes it appear even faster and especially on a first viewing certain subtlety’s can be missed.

CAMEO O’CLOCK

There are two possible Hitchcock cameos in the film, neither being particularly obvious. One comes about 55 minutes in at which Hitch’s figure appears on an neon advert on a distant advertising the fictional weight reduction product Reduco (previously seen from his cameo in Lifeboat)

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The other cameo is unconfirmed but it is believed to appear in the first (and only) exterior shot of the film. Hitchcock is supposedly one of the people walking down the street.

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FINAL THOUGHTS

Rope is a fantastic, albeit experimental film. I think it’s wonderful that a director of Hitchcock’s esteem was given the freedom of creativity to make a film like this and it is something a modern director would not be allowed. 5 Hitchs.  

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