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"Rope" is wonderfully transparent in the way the drama is structured ... you can see the clues being put neatly into place, like a master builder placing brick upon brick. There is a famous Chekhov adage that if, in a play, the audience can see a rifle on the wall in Act One, it will have to be used in Act Two. In "Rope", a whole arsenal of weapons is hanging on the wall. You know why they're there, you don't know when they'll make their entrance into the plot.
Hitchcock films this story in what almost appears to be one long, long take ... as if he's just recorded a live stage production. The lack of cinematic sophistication only adds to the tension. It creates a sense of claustrophobia. The actors seem to be left to speak for themselves without the aid of rapid cutting or dramatic close ups. Words and action have to sustain the plot.
The camera work is simple - it follows the action. There is a magnificent scene where the surly maid clears away the dinner dishes. The camera follows her movements, almost intrusively, as she walks on and off the set, slowly removing the dishes. Tension mounts. Surely, she must discover the body next time?
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