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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Rope (1948)

Two intellectually minded young men (John Dall, Farley Granger) strangle a friend (Dick Hogan) as an experiment to see if they can get away with murder. They feel they are "superior" beings and thus exempt from the societal taboos of ordinary men. They hide the body in a chest and then throw a party for the dead boy's friends and relatives serving a buffet on the chest hiding his body. Based on the 1929 play by Patrick Hamilton (GASLIGHT) which was inspired by the 1924 Leopold & Loeb murder of a 14 year old boy. ROPE is one of Alfred Hitchcock's most audacious films on both a technical and thematic level. The film takes place in "real time" and in one long continuous take without any obvious cuts but, of course, there were cuts which Hitchcock disguised by panning past a dark exterior like someone's back. The film all takes place on a single set but it never feels like a filmed play as the camera glides through the characters and crannies of the Manhattan apartment. The intense film is not without humor as when Joan Chandler and Constance Collier try to remember the name of Hitchcock's NOTORIOUS. The homosexual angle is so blatant that one has wonder how Hitchcock got away with it in 1948. With James Stewart, Cedric Hardwicke, Douglas Dick and Edith Evanson.

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