leaveit2me’s Film Festival – Rope (1948)

Moving right along with “leaveit2me’s Film Festival”, we have one of Alfred Hitchcock’s lesser-known films, 1948’s Rope. Rope tells the story of two men who commit murder to affirm their own delusions of superiority, but decide to hold a dinner party in the very room where they committed the murder and have hidden the body.

The first of the pair, Brandon, is played by John Dall.  Brandon believes that murder is not a crime, but a privilege that is reserved for only those few who are innately superior, and of course believes himself to be of that exclusive group.  The second, Philip, is played by Farley Granger.  Philip is Brandon’s accomplice and is an accomplished pianist.  He goes along with the plan and commits the crime, but regrets it from then onward, denying Brandon’s philosophy.

Rope-pic-1
Warner Bros., 1948

The movie opens with the pair murdering David Kentley, a friend of theirs from college, and then hiding the body in a chest in their living room.  They had already planned ahead and scheduled a party in that very room.  The list of guests included the deceased, his parents, his fiancee and his fiancee’s ex-love interest Kenneth, another one of their friend from college.  The last guest was their old dormitory head, Rupert Cadell, played to perfection by Jimmy Stewart.  Rupert was the one who introduced Brandon and Philip to the idea of justifiable murder, and so in some twisted way Brandon feels that Rupert would appreciate what they have done.  However Brandon knows that while Rupert can talk the talk, he can’t walk the walk, and for that reason he didn’t invite him to join in the execution of their plan.

RopeGrangerStewart
Warner Bros., 1948

The main plot of the movie revolves around the tension that emerges as the guests start to wonder why David hasn’t shown up, Philip loses his nerve, and Rupert’s suspicions.  The tension builds as the party goes on and we watch as a work of art shows it’s true colors to be completely human.  Hitchcock loves to play with character interactions and he is rather good at it, with Rope being as good an example as any.


Thanks for reading, I hope you like it and look forward to more.  Have a great day!

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2 thoughts on “leaveit2me’s Film Festival – Rope (1948)

  1. Sounds like a really interesting movie. I think some of the best thrillers are the ones that focuses on creating tension through character interplay within a minimal setting. Also, Brandon’s philosophy is remarkably similar to that of Raskolnikov from ‘Crime and Punishment’, so I’d be very surprised if that wasn’t an influence on his character. I’ve been meaning to check out more Hitchcock for a while, so this will definitely be added to my watch list.

    1. Brandon is taught his philosophy by Rupert, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he was just spouting out ‘Crime and Punishment’ to naive boys. I would recommend checking out the Alfred Hitchcock Hour television program as well. Much smaller and sometimes hit-and-miss, but if you are looking for maximum tension with minimal setup, you can’t really do much better than that.
      If you are looking for minimum tension with maximum setup, i guess you could try Saw or Final Destination or Alone in the Dark or Resident Evil or Underworld or…

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