An experimental film masquerading as a standard Hollywood thriller. The plot of Rope
is simple and based on a successful stage play: two young men (John Dall and Farley Granger) commit murder, more or less as an intellectual exercise. They hide the body in their large apartment, then throw a dinner party. Will the body be discovered? Director Alfred Hitchcock, fascinated by the possibilities of the long-take style, decided to shoot this story as though it were happening in one long, uninterrupted shot. Since the camera can only hold one 10-minute reel at a time, Hitchcock had to be creative when it came time to change reels, disguising the switches as the camera passed behind someone's back or moved behind a lamp. In later years Hitchcock wrote off the approach as misguided, and Rope
may not be one of Hitchcock's top movies, but it's still a nail-biter. They don't call him the Master of Suspense for nothing. James Stewart
, as a suspicious professor, marks his first starring role for Hitchcock, a collaboration that would lead to the masterpieces Rear Window
. --Robert Horton
Believing themselves to be intellectually superior to their contemporaries, flatmates Brandon (John Dall) and Philip (Farley Granger) murder their friend David Kentley purely to see if they can get away with it. They then throw a cocktail party, serving food from the top of the trunk where they have hidden David's body. Their guests include both David's father and fiancée, as well as college lecturer Rupert Cadell (James Stewart), who becomes increasingly suspicious as the evening wears on. Director Alfred Hitchcock constructed the film out of ten continuous reels, making no use of his usual montage technique and keeping cuts to a minimum.