Film 164 in the “1001 Films to See Before You Die” challenge is 1948’s “Rope”. This Alfred Hitchcock crime drama thriller is based on Patrick Hamilton’s play of the same name and is about two young men who strangled their “inferior” classmate, hide his body in their apartment, and invite his friends and family to a dinner party as a means to challenge the “perfection” of their crime.. The play and film is based on the real-life murder of 14 year old Bobby Franks in 1924 by two University of Chicago students. It has been a while since I have reviewed a Hitchcock film in this challenge (Film 10 – “The 39 Steps”) and I found myself to not really enjoy this. This however I did enjoy. I did find that doing long takes did make me tired. I did also like that the filmed the entire film in one location. By doing that, it makes the audience feel like they are there. I was a little confused with the ending. Personally, I would have liked a better explanation as to why they murdered David. The explanation they gave really confused me. Maybe if I watched it again I would understand it. Overall, this is a really good film and I would recommend giving it a watch. Woohoo! Three good films in a row! Been a while since that has happened. Also, try watching this film without singing the lyrics to Foo Fighter’s “Rope”. In 1962, Alfred Hitchcock had this to say about the film, “I got this crazy idea, maybe I could do [the whole film] in one shot… when I look back, of course, it’s quite nonsensical.” Fun Fact of the Film – The film was shot in ten takes, ranging from four-and-a-half to just over ten minutes long. If you have seen this film then let me know what you thought of it in the comments. Here is what I had to say while watching 1948’s “Rope”
Film – Rope
Year – 1948
Director – Alfred Hitchcock
Written By – Patrick Hamilton, Hume Cronyn, Arthur Laurents, Ben Hecht
Based On – “Rope” by Patrick Hamilton (play)
Staring – James Stewart, John Dall, Farley Granger
IMDb Rating – 8/10
My Rating – 7.6/10
Length – 80 min (1h 20min)
Genre – Crime, Drama, Thriller
Did those people and cars all wait for the credits to finish before they could move?
We open with a murder!
Let’s hide the body in this trunk
Let’s calm down by having a cigarette
“No one ever feels safe in the dark”
That’s evening? – It looks like the afternoon to me
Why didn’t we serve him root beer before we murder him?
The murder victim is named David
“The perfect victim for the perfect murder”
Philip really doesn’t want the body in the apartment
Brandon thinks he’s done a job well done
We’ve murdered someone! Lets celebrate with champagne
“We killed for the sake of killing”
Brandon says ordinary people can’t commit perfect murders
Here’s a toast… to the dead man
What was it like to murder David?
The cameraman almost got bored of the conversation that he nearly filmed something else
Brandon has another idea. To make the trunk look less noticable by putting candle sticks on it
If I was Philip I would lie and say I’m off for a walk and tell on Brandon
Brandon says his excuse to bring everyone over is to hold a book club meeting
Philip has noticed the rope sticking out of the trunk
Nothing like yanking on rope to satisfy your needs
Mrs Wilson arrives with a package and questions why her table isn’t being used
Why hide the rope? Let’s put it in the kitchen – Isn’t that hiding the rope
Rupert’s coming over? I gotta go
The party has arrived
Did Mrs Wilson just tell Philip that he’s too skinny?
Kenneth arrives and complains that he always arrives too early
It’s a farewell party to Philip as he’s heading to Connecticut
It’s also a party for David’s dad
You invited Janet? That bitch is coming over?
Janet arrives and sees Kenneth
That was meant to be funny? I didn’t laugh
I thought Philip was gonna drink from the bottle then
She then questions Brandon why he invited Kenneth
Wait… She’s engaged to David? Oh Oh
Haha philosphy books don’t sell
Is this what it’s like to be at a high school reunion
David’s dad and Mrs Apwater arrive
Did Mrs Apwater come straight from the horse races?
Is that a hat or something bee keepers wear?
Philip has broken his glass while we weren’t looking and his hand is bleeding
We were meant to be meeting David here – Er…
Kenneth, you take this glass to Janet while shes on the phone
Philip and Mrs Apwater chat about hands
Philip seems to have made his cut disapear quickly
Lets kill some time by playing the piano
Rupert arrives and says hello to everyone
This turned from book club to a leaving party
Rupert says he wants to marry Mrs Wilson
Excuse me while I light my cigarette with a candle
THE BUFFET’S OPEN!!!!
Did they get this buffet from Toby Carvery?
So… if you don’t eat chicken then you’re queer? WTF?
Why are we looking at Rupert? He’s not doing anything
Why are we talking about choking the chicken?
Lets talk about murder
Murder can solve so many things
We don’t use knives on hotel staff. They’ve suffered enough
“Murder is… or should be an art”
Rupert says he wants a week were police allow anyone to get away with murder
Is Brandon saying he liked Adolf Hitler?
Lets take David’s dad to see those books
Rupert questions Brandon about if he would commit a murder
Reading as a kid is stupid!
Janet and Kenneth chat about why she left him for David
Remember those days at Harvard when Janet thought she was a lesbian, Kenneth
Brandon knows all about me? That bastard!
Janet thinks Brandon arranged the party so David wouldn’t show up
Rupert invited Mrs Wilson for ice cream
She tells Rupert about Brandon & Philip’s day and how they’ve been acting all day
Philip looks concerned but tells Mrs Wilson to stop complaining about the table
I don’t want ice cream anymore! I want to solve this mystery
Philip thinks Rupert is accusing him of something
Rupert then asks Philip about David
And were back to choking chickens
How to get rid off the rope – Use it to tie some books together and give them to Mrs Apwater
Lets blame Philip’s behaviour for the fact that he’s mixing drinks
With this shot, I’m waiting for David to start kicking the chest lid open
We now know that David played tennis before coming to the party
I didn’t want to clean in the morning – Tough! You will be and without pay
Mrs Apwater says David may have been in an accident
Kenneth and Janet seem to be happier now they’ve talked
That’s David’s hat!!! But Rupert doesn’t notice
Philip tells Brandon about Rupert’s actions and how he was snooping around
I will calm down when I’m drunk
Philip thinks he and Brandon will get caught
“Mind your P’s & Q’s” – What does that mean?
Let us leave with David’s body stil in the chest
We can’t pretend we’re not home! The lights are still home
Rupert is coming back! This causes Philip to panic
“It’ll be over in 5 minutes” – We’ll see about that
And the five minutes starts now
Brandon’s planning on shooting Rupert
Nice move Rupert! He had it all along! But let’s hide it on the chest
Who let the drunk in charge of the drinks?
Let’s talk about David and where he could have been
Rupert says Janet thinks Brandon kidnapped David
Who cares what Rupert has to say! Let’s try and find Philip while we look at everything in the apartment
Rupert thinks David’s body is in the trunk of someone’s car
Philip’s back and he’s losing it
How did Rupert know Brandon had a gun in his pocket?
RUPERT HAS THE ROPE!!!!
FIGHT!!! It’s Rupert vs Philip! Winner get the gun
Rupert has the gun and is gonna open the chest!
Rupert has found David!
Brandon brings up the earlier chat with David’s Dad
He says they have lived what they talked about
Rupert wants to know why Brandon has made him feel weak – I’m confused
Hello police! I’m firing random bullets out of this window for you to find me
Brandon and Philip don’t know what to do
Philip panics while playing the piano while Brandon starts drinking