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Cutting Edge Film Review Rope

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Rope is a film from 1948 directed by the late Alfred Hitchcock. Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock was widely known as Englands best director famous for his films being in the psychological thriller and mystery. He directed many films both in the silent era and that used dialogue. Perhaps his most famous work is the 1960 film Psycho which is still to this day a classic. Rope is also one of his more famous works which has the mechanics of a murder mystery. It is based on a 1929 British play written by Patrick Hamilton which follows practically the same plot and also thought to be loosely based on the Leopold and Leob murder case from 1924. Plot: Two lifelong friends, Brandon Shaw and Philip Morgan, decide to murder their colleague and friend, David Kentley, for no other reason other than they feel they are superior and he is inferior and so strangle him to death with a piece of rope and stuff him in an unlocked trunk in their apartment to test their superiority. They have arranged a party to be held at the apartment to further more test their superiority to get away with the horrible crime. The guest list includes David himself, Davids father and Aunt, Henry Kentley and Mrs Atwater, Davids fiance, Janet Walker and her ex, Kenneth Lawrence who is also Davids best friend, the loyal housekeeper, Mrs

Wilson and their old prep school house master, Rupert Cadell. As the part goes on Brandon becomes more and more arrogant dropping little hints of their crime whilst Philip starts feeling the guilt and with a combination alcohol starts acting up. Through all this, the guests are still oblivious to what may be happening here, all except one; Rupert who is considered as Brandon and Philips intellectual equal is getting more and more suspicious as to why David has not made an appearance. Alfred Hitchcocks Rope is best known for its use of camera more than anything. Hitchcock wanted the film to feel real, as if the viewer was there in the apartment getting involved with the conversations and physical aspects going on. He filmed the film practically as one scene by using eight shots roughly about ten minutes each and a tiny amount of editing that he tried to make unnoticeable. On the set the actors had to watch out of trailing wires and also move in the way of the window on purpose at some points to block the light from hitting the camera. Hitchcock clearly put a lot of pressure on them, as one mistake meant having to re-film the ten minute take.
- Hitchcock attempted the daunting technical challenge of filming the entire picture in one long, seemingly uninterrupted take. Actually, there are several edits in the movie: since a reel of film was divided into two ten-minute minireels back in 1948, the internal reel-breaks are "fudged" by having a dark object briefly obscure the camera lens, sustaining the illusion that no editing has taken place. - Erickson, 200-

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Rupert Cadell, played by James Stewart, is perhaps the most interesting character as he is seen by Brandon and Philip as their intellectual equal and if anyone was to discover their crime it was him. This actually becomes quite apparent at the beginning stages of the film during a conversation between Brandon and Rupert about strangling chickens when Rupert expresses his true feelings about murder and states that murder can be an art if the person committing such murder is truly a superior individual. He then carries on to say I would prefer to have..."Cut a Throat Week"... or, uh, Strangulation Day. Through expressing this quite bold and daring statement, Brandon actually starts to agree with him which arguably is another

display of Brandons over confidence and arrogance. When Rupert discovers the truth he realizes that Brandon and Philip have done exactly what he said and so regrets the very words that came out his mouth and almost starts to contradict his views.
- Over the course of the film, Stewart brings his character full-circle, from preaching how systematic killings could benefit society to regretting those very words when he sees the effect they've had on his star pupils. - Dave, 2012

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Although Hitchcock made it unobvious, throughout the film there is a homosexual subtext particularly between Brandon, Philip and Rupert. From the very beginning there seems to be a slightly sensitive relationship between Brandon and Philip and there are subtle implications of this with brief intimacies and casual glances throughout. It implies that in the future, wherever they go and whatever they do, they always do it together. There is also a subtle attraction from Brandon to Rupert which is partly the reason for Brandon attempting to impress his former house master by agreeing with his statement about murder being acceptable.
- There's a definite gay subtext to Brandon and Philip's relationship, which Dall and Granger do their best to underscore ever so subtly. It's a stylistic choice that enhances the tense interplay between them and heightens Hitch's bold one-take setups. - The Terror Trap, 200?

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Illustrations Figure 1: http://www.gophoto.it/view.php?i=http://images.moviepostershop.com/ropemovie-poster-1948-1020198503.jpg#.UPwMfydyF8E Figure 2: http://sites.lafayette.edu/eng240-2009/category/film-screenings/rope/ Figure 3: http://www.theaceblackblog.com/2012/06/movie-review-rope-1948.html Figure 4: http://www.cinemaqueer.com/review%20pages/threeviews.html

Bibliography Erickson, 200-, Available at: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/ Review: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/rope/ [Accessed online 23rd January 2013] Dave, 2012, Available at: http://www.dvdinfatuation.com/ Review: http://www.dvdinfatuation.com/2012/10/807-rope-1948.html [Accessed online 23rd January 2013] The Terror Trap, 200?, Available at: http://www.terrortrap.com/ http://www.terrortrap.com/reviewsdatabase/r/rope.php [Accessed online 23rd January 2013]

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