Friday, May 13, 2011
Friday Flicks: Rope
In Alfred Hitchcock's Rope (1948), a couple of social elitists commit the perfect crime. The murder weapon? A rope.
Brandon and Phillip are intellectual snobs who look down their noses at everyone whom they deem to be inferior. In their thinking, killing a worthless person is the right thing to do. They want to prove to themselves that they can commit the perfect murder. The movie opens with Brandon and Phillip strangling their victim, David, with a rope.
After the murder, they decide to play a little game and raise the stakes by hiding the body and the rope in an old chest in the living room while hosting a dinner party that evening. The guests, which include David's father and girlfriend, haven't got a clue.
The only one who suspects something is amiss is Rupert (James Stewart), their former college professor who inspired their warped philosophy about mankind.
Rope was based on a play by Patrick Hamilton and the entire film takes place in one set (the living room). Hitchcock took it to another level by making the movie appear as if it were filmed in one continuous take. Pretty tricky considering the technical limitations of the period.
This is one of the most philosophical of Hitchcock's films. It raises questions about social class, prejudice, the meaning of life and purpose of man.