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James Stewart, Farley Granger and John Dall star in this macabre spellbinder, which was inspired by a real-life case of murder. Two thrill-seeking friends (Granger and Dall) strangle a classmate and then hold a party for their victim's family and friends, serving refreshments on a buffet table fashioned from a trunk containing the lifeless body. When dinner conversation revolves around talk of the 'perfect murder', their former teacher (Stewart) becomes increasingly suspicious that his students have turned his intellectual theories into brutal reality.
Considéré comme un film mineur dans la carrière d'Alfred Hitchcock, La Corde n'en est pas moins un excellent thriller. On y retrouve tout le savoir-faire du maître du suspense qui s'est pour l'occasion imposé une contrainte de taille : tourner le film en un seul plan séquence. Il en résulte un huis clos d'une intensité dramatique très forte. Dès le début du film le spectateur est témoin d'un crime odieux dont le mobile n'est autre que le plaisir, et se retrouve aussitôt embarqué malgré lui dans une sinistre mise en scène opérée par les deux assassins, Philip et surtout Brandon. Hitchcock s'amuse alors avec le spectateur dont la frustration, causée par son impuissance face à la situation, ne cesse de croître à mesure que le film avance. La Corde se déroule en temps réel, aucune ellipse ne vient stopper l'implacable processus dramatique, le rythme du film est celui de l'action et, peu à peu, ce qui ressemblait à une amusante démonstration d'une théorie nietzschéenne qui ne l'est pas – les êtres supérieurs ont le droit de supprimer un être inférieur – devient une angoissante recherche de la vérité. En faisant du spectateur un témoin muet, Hitchcock le rend pour ainsi dire complice de Philip et Brandon. Enfin ce huis clos est servi par une interprétation sans faille des comédiens emmenés par l'étonnant John Dall dans le rôle de Brandon et le toujours juste James Stewart. --Christophe Gagnot --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
James Stewart, Farley Granger, and John Dall are the stars here, with Stewart (as always) giving a flawless, effortless-looking performance. I really liked all the character portrayals in this film. Murderers Granger and Dall exhibit just the right mix of "Will we get caught?" angst and the cockiness and sheer gall of those that murder simply for the sport of it.
Although not one of the "higher profile" Alfred Hitchcock entries, I think "Rope" is, in fact, one of his better films. It's certainly unique, style-wise, being filmed in ten-minute, continuous takes, giving it a "seamless" uninterrupted look.
There has been much talk about the supposed "homosexual overtones" between the two murderers in "Rope". Now while I know this to be the director's intention, if I hadn't read about it after seeing the movie, I would never have thought those two male characters were supposed to be homosexual. In my view, *nothing* that is said or done in the film particularly points to this conclusion. I suppose it's designed to be there, but "just beneath the surface". But, I looked at the two killers as merely being close friends. I don't really know why the sexual orientation subject even has to enter into it. And, really, it *doesn't*.
"Rope" is unique in another fashion as well -- Hitchcock's "cameo". Unique because we get not one, but TWO, "Hitch" cameos in this picture. Right after the opening credits, we see Alfred walking on the sidewalk below. With cameo appearance #2 (which was originally intended to be his lone cameo) coming 55 minutes into the fairly-short 80-minute film. This second cameo is not of Hitchcock "in the flesh".Read more ›
And such a murder is the center of "Rope," one of Alfred Hitchcock's more experimental movies. Based on the real-life murder committed by Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, nearly the entire movie takes place in real time in a single room. Most impressively, there are only a few cuts, allowing the camera to wander through the story as if an invisible man was observing everything.
The story begins with murder -- a young man named David is strangled by his former classmates, law students Brandon Shaw (John Dall) and Phillip Morgan (Farley Granger). Then they stuff his corpse in a big wooden chest. Brandon wants to commit the "perfect" murder that proves their intellectual superiority, and as superior beings they are exempt from the morals that govern society -- an idea he got from his former teacher, Rupert (James Stewart).
They plan to dump the body in a lake later that evening, but first Brandon wants to put the final perverse "artistic" flourish -- he's going to host a dinner party, with the corpse-containing chest used as a buffet. Even worse, the guests include David's father and aunt, Rupert, David's fiancee, Janet Walker (Joan Chandler) and her ex-boyfriend Kenneth (Douglas Dick).
But as the evening goes on, the guests begin to worry when David doesn't show up, and Rupert begins to suspect that something weird is going on. An increasingly hysterical Phillip begins to unravel out of fear that their "artistic" murder will be found out, and a confrontation between the three men becomes inevitable.Read more ›
I must say that the story is original, and that the beginning is quite shocking. The two main characters are Brandon and Philip (John Dall and Farley Granger), two young men that commit a crime just to see if they can get away with murder. As if killing another man weren't enough, they decide to tempt fate, hiding the body in a trunk, where it could easily be discovered, and inviting some people to dinner. Their guests include, among others, the victim's parents, his girlfriend and an old schoolteacher that gets increasingly suspicious regarding Brandon and Philip's actions. The schoolteacher (James Stewart) doesn't know exactly what they did, but is certain that something is wrong, very wrong. And of course, he cannot understand why Philip keeps looking at the trunk that is used as a buffet table...
On the whole, I can say that I liked "Rope", even though I wouldn't be overly eager to watch it again. From my point of view, you will also enjoy this whodunnit, specially if you are fond of Hitchcock movies, and don't mind the fact that albeit good, this is not one of his best films.
PS: I give "Rope" 3.5 stars...
Studio: Universal Studios
Video Release Date: May 23, 1995
James Stewart ... Rupert Cadell
John Dall ... Brandon Shaw
Farley Granger ... Phillip Morgan
Cedric Hardwicke ... Mr. Kentley
Constance Collier ... Mrs. Atwater
Douglas Dick ... Kenneth Lawrence
Edith Evanson ... Mrs. Wilson
Dick Hogan ... David Kentley
Joan Chandler ... Janet Walker
Alfred Hitchcock ... Man walking in street after opening credits
The Three Suns ... Group cast appearance (radio sequence)
Two young men decide to kill a friend for kicks. ala Leopold and Loeb, because one of them, Brandon Shaw (John Dall) thinks he is a superior human being, and above the rules, and the victim is inferior and therefore fair game. He quotes a former professor, Rupert Cadell (James Stewart) who has verbalized such a proposition in class.
They do, indeed, strangle the other young man, David Kentley (Dick Hogan), place his body in a trunk, and then throw a party to which they invite Bentley's parents, his girl friend, Prof. Cadell and others, and serve food and drinks from the trunk in which the body lies. Cadell, a bright man, realizes that something funny is going on and investigates.
This is an entertaining movie. Hitchcock. the director, admitted that he made the film on a lark, and that it was not a serious endeavor, but given his genius it came out very well anyway. It rates 4 stars with me, at least.
Joseph (Joe) Pierre
author of Handguns and Freedom...their care and maintenance
and other books
Most recent customer reviews
This movie is alright, but pales in comparison to some of Hitchcock's other movies. It is fairly slow moving, but it was also released in 1948. Read morePublished 7 months ago by TigerLilly
This Hithcock movie is a gem!
My only reserve is that I didn't know before I bought it that it wasn't a widescreen format!
The BEST Hitchcock movie ever made! The plot is delicious. The movie is ghoulish, stylish and suspenseful. Read morePublished on Jan. 28 2013 by Jayclue
Two pompous young men (John Dall, Farley Granger) commit a murder just for the thrill and satisfaction of pulling off the perfect crime. Read morePublished on June 13 2012 by Kona
Brandon (John Dall) and Philip (Farley Granger) are two rich, educated young men who think very highly of themselves indeed. Read morePublished on April 16 2004 by snalen
Oh this one's another good one. The only thing that makes a Hitchcock story better is when Jimmy Steward stars in it!
The setting for this is an apartment. Read more
The merits of Hitchcock's experimental film ROPE have been endlessly debated. (See below!)
What I find fascinating about this film is what it reveals about the skill of the... Read more
I don't mind what Hitchcock himself thought later of the film, or how did it fare at the time it was released. Read morePublished on Jan. 10 2004
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