May 21st, 2011: Rope (1948)

Cast and Crew:   Hume Cronyn (Adaptation)

What It’s About: Brandon Shaw (John Dall) plans the perfect murder to prove his inherent superiority to his victim and everyone else. Phillip Morgan (Farley Granger) is his weaker, more emotional partner, who only wants to please Shaw. Together they lure David Kentley to their apartment, strangle him with rope, and then stuff him in an old trunk. Brandon is not content to merely murder Kentley and set up a dinner with Kentley’s father (Cedric Hardwicke), aunt and fiancé while the body is still in the room.  Even attempting to fix up the fiance with her former flame isn’t enough; he also invites his former teacher Rupert Cadell (James Stewart) along, and serves the food from on top of the trunk.  Will Cadell figure out what’s going on?

Why Watch It Today?:  Rope is notable for several things; director Alfred Hitchock’s decision to shoot the film so that it seems like there are never any cuts (in fact he used very long takes), the implied homosexual relationship of the killers, and the inspiration the film took from the Loeb and Leopold murder, committed today in 1924Rope is a compelling suspense film with a great performance from lead James Stewart.

Where to Get It:  iTunes, Netflix (rental only), libraries, or Amazon

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