30 October 2014

Rope (1948)
80 min.
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
With James Stewart, John Dall, Farley Granger, Cedric Hardwicke, Constance Collier, Douglas Dick, Edith Evanson, Dick Hogan.
A generally undermentioned Hitchcock thriller, and certainly one of our favorites from the Master before he went all blockbuster with Rear Window (1954), Vertigo (1958) and PSYCHO (1960).

Intellectual aesthetes Brandon (Dall) and Philip (Granger) are two friends who decide to murder their friend David simply for the 'experience' of it.

So they do it. They murder David. Then, they host a dinner party, invite all their friends over, and serve a buffet from the top of a chest where they've just stored David's lifeless body.

The two self-centred men are confident that their superior intelligence will prevent any discovery of their crime. They will have committed, in essence, the 'perfect murder.'

But when their schoolteacher Rupert (Stewart) arrives at the party, he begins to suspect something is awry with the two young men.

Soon - to Rupert's own horror - the tapestry of evil the two killers have woven begins to unravel...seam by seam.

Dall turns in an exceptionally strong performance, while Granger is equally adept as his weaker, fragile counterpart.

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.

This was Hitchcock's first film in color, and as such it's dutifully awash in richly-textured earth hues and terrific color contrasts. Boasts a wonderful 'shot in the night' climax.

Loosely drawn from the infamous 1924 Leopold-Loeb murder case.

A must see.

copyright 1998-present | The Terror Trap; www.terrortrap.com | all rights reserved