Writer: Arthur Laurents (Screenplay) Patrick Hamilton (Play)
Starring: Dick Hogan, John Dall, Farley Granger, Edith Evanson, Douglas Dick, Joan Chandler, James Stewart
Plot: Two men attempt to prove they committed the perfect crime by hosting a dinner party after strangling their former classmate to death.
Tagline – Nothing ever held you like Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope
Runtime: 1 Hour 20 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: Rope starts when two men Brandon (Dall) and Phillip (Granger) murder their classmate, just before hosting a party, they hide the body in the apartment, while hosting the guests Kenneth (Dick), Janet (Chandler), Mr Kentley (Hardwicke), Mrs Atwater (Collier) and Rupert (Stewart).
As the party goes on the character interact about everyday life matters as Janet explains her choice in man between David and Kenneth, while Brandon and Phillip boast about what it would be like to murder somebody.
Thoughts on Rope
Characters – Rupert Cadell is the last guest to arrive, he is the men’s former house master and has known the men since they were boys, he starts to get suspicious of what is going on with the party, he tries to learn the secret Brandon and Phillip are keeping. Brandon is the mastermind of the two men, he has every single guest in the palm of his hands as the party continues, he is almost become arrogant about what the two men have done. Phillip is more nervous about crime the men have committed, he gets put through the wringer by Rupert who thinks he will spill the beans. Janet is the woman that is dating the murder victim, she is part of Brandon’s game who is trying to set her up with another friend Kenneth.
Performances – James Stewart might well be the biggest name in this film, but his role is more of a supporting one, he is fantastic still being one of the many outstanding performances through the film. John Dall and Farley Granger are both wonderful to watch as a double act trying to remain calm through the film. the rest of the cast are wonderful too.
Story – The story follows two men who are hosting a party after murdering a friend, they are trying to prove they can get away with the murder on front of their friends and former mentor. This story is based on a play which you can see from early on because the story plays out over the one party, we see how each person interacts and can have difference of opinions. We are kept wondering if anybody will learn their secret and if they can continue to keep everything secret from everybody through the night.
Crime/Mystery – The Crime side of the film shows how quickly a couple of men can kill somebody, we see this murder in the opening scene as well as discussing different types of murder through the film too, the mystery comes to just why or what the motive is behind their murder, waiting to see if they can complete their masterplan.
Settings – The film is set inside on apartment building, we never leave this location which shows how both arrogant and nervous the two men are.
Final Thoughts – This is a wonderfully entertain crime mystery, just to why the men committed the murder, we have top notch performances from the whole cast that never let anybody down.
Overall: Hitchcock’s master play.