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"Rope," Hitchcock's first Technicolor film, was an experiment of sorts for the director. The action takes place in real time, edited to appear as a single, continuous shot through the use of long takes. This movie is based on a play of the same name, and this filming technique makes the viewer feel as if they are watching a play rather than a film.

*** SPOILER ALERT! ***

"Rope" is the tale of two young roomnates who strangle a former classmate minutes before they host a dinner party. The corpse is stuffed into a large chest, on which they decide to serve their meal to their guests. The men had no issues with the deceased; they merely wanted to murder for murder's sake. Among the guests at the dinner party are the dead boy's father and fiancee. James Stewart plays the young men's prep school housemaster, who eventually unravels the mystery.

John Dall is outstanding as the arrogant Brandon Shaw, who thinks commiting the perfect murder makes him superior to other men. Constance Collier gives a delightful performance as the dead man's aunt. James Stewart seems miscast in his role, and Farley Granger overacts on occasion as the nervous pianist.

There is, however, a wonderful scene with Granger playing the piano while Stewart's character questions him. The metronome ticks faster and faster while the music becomes increasingly dissonant, creating a palpable sense of terror and suspense.

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On 5/3/2016 at 9:02 PM, DIShGo said:

There is, however, a wonderful scene with Granger playing the piano while Stewart's character questions him. The metronome ticks faster and faster while the music becomes increasingly dissonant, creating a palpable sense of terror and suspense.

If I was forced to pick out one "strongest scene" in the film, the metronome scene would be it. It was intense, *long* in duration, and becoming steadily louder, faster, and more dissonant (both in terms of music, metronome, and dialogue) for the entire scene, forcing the viewer to shift towards the edge of their seat as it progressed. It was the work of a genius.

*** SPOILER ALERT ***

In the link for "edited to appear as a single, continuous shot," there were several times when Hitchcock used the "dissolve" technique (the 2-minute video at that link is well-worth watching, as they found 10 different cuts, and let the film "explain" each one). The 10th cut - which uses the "dissolve" technique - is one I didn't even realize was used until I watched the 2-minute video. These "dissolve" shots may seem a bit brute-force upon dissection, but they work in the film - especially with no rewind available to the viewer.

Some trivia: Apparently, while filming the movie, a manoeuvering camera on wheels ran over a man's foot and broke it. Someone saw it, and grabbed the man and gagged him so his scream of pain wouldn't be heard - this moment is in the final version of the film, although I didn't notice it, and don't know where it is.

Hitchcock's trademark "cameo" happens here right at the very beginning (it must necessarily happen this way, which you'll understand when you watch the film) - he's walking down the street next to a woman, and if you're looking for it, you can spot him easily even though the shot is done from a distance.

My father first told me about this film, probably 25 years ago - even he was aware that "it was done in one shot" (it actually wasn't done in one shot, but many people think it is), and I'm *so* glad I finally saw it - it produces just a little, five-second memory, but my dad was a hardcore movie aficionado (in purely spectator's terms), and he really appreciated this film. 

There's something very "baseball card-like" about the early use of Technicolor. The colors are apparently stained onto each frame, and what is produced is often more vibrant than what you see in real life - I personally like it, even though some may claim it just doesn't look real. Here are some examples of baseball cards with a similar "feel" - 1949 Bowman Satchell Paige, 1933 Goudey Lou Gehrig, 1952 Topps Jackie Robinson - early Technicolor is more realistic-looking than these, but there's still some of the same "painted-on" look to it - some of the clothing, for example.

"Rope" is a good, not a great, film. The whole premise is so implausible as to be ridiculous if scrutinized too closely, and Jimmy Stewart showed an almost Batman-like calculation in figuring out that a dirty deed had been done, when there weren't *that* many clues that would lead a dinner guest to such an enormous jump in belief - these kids were spoiled brats, yes, but homicidal maniacs? The motive for such a heinous act just isn't there, at least not to my eyes.

Also, until I read some of the reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, not once did it occur to me that the two killers were "homosexual roommates" (this is the critics' term; not mine, and several critics use it - I suspect there may have been some plagiarism at work here). I guess if you think about it afterwards, this must be the case, but the fact that it didn't even cross my mind shows just how much we've changed in our thought processes - to be honest, I didn't even realize the two lived together, but they obviously do, especially given that there's a piano in the apartment, and the more submissive - or should I say "timid?" - of the two was a concert pianist. Regardless of sexuality, there was definitely a dominant-submissive friendship involved - surprisingly (or, perhaps not surprisingly), the submissive one actually committed the murder.

Alfred Hitchcock's cameo:

Screenshot 2016-05-04 at 07.57.46.png

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*** SPOILER ALERT ***

Yes, there is an aura of implausibility to the story. And it bothered me that the rope used in the murder is shown hanging well out of the trunk--an impossibility when it clearly is wrapped tightly around the victim's neck when they stuff him in the trunk.

What did you think about Stewart's character? His acting is fine, but the speech he gives at the end of the film rings false to me. It seems like it was added to appease those offended by the storyline. It doesn't seem like something the character would say.

This is classic Hitchcock, however--adding a morality lesson at the end. He does this with most of his Alfred Hitchcock Presents television programs, adding a brief summary at the end to let us know that the murderer was sent to prison, or the wrongdoer (in one way or another) got what was coming to him or her.

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