1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I Hope You Like What You See!" -- (You Will, Via This DVD!)
"Rope" debuted in theaters in August of 1948, and represented the first movie shot in COLOR by Director Alfred Hitchcock.
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...
Published on May 18 2004 by David Von Pein
3.0 out of 5 stars Just okay; not great
Two pompous young men (John Dall, Farley Granger) commit a murder just for the thrill and satisfaction of pulling off the perfect crime. They hide the body in their living room and then host a cocktail party as if nothing happened. But one guest, their old prep school house master (James Stewart), is suspicious right from the start.
Hitchcock wanted to...
Published 17 months ago by Kona
Most Helpful First | Newest First
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "That's the difference between us and other men: they talk about committing the perfect crime, we do it",
This review is from: Rope (DVD)"Rope", a film based on a play and directed by Alfred Hitchcock, is a well-made thriller that entertains the spectator, but that is far from being perfect.
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...
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Measure your words carefully. They may be taken seriously,
This review is from: Rope [Import] (VHS Tape)
James Stewart ... Rupert Cadell
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
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I Hope You Like What You See!" -- (You Will, Via This DVD!),
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". Instead, the director inserted the image of a flashing neon sign outside one of the windows of the apartment. This sign depicts the famous Hitchcock "profile". A very inventive cameo indeed (rivaling his "newspaper" appearance in "Lifeboat" for the most creative, IMO).
As with a much-later Hitchcock picture, "The Birds", "Rope" has no music score to aid the story and move it along (save the opening theme music and the piano-playing of Farley Granger's character). An entire movie void of music is something that I don't imagine too many directors could pull off. But Hitchcock, in "Rope" and "The Birds" (which was fifteen years later), did it quite successfully.
This Universal single-disc DVD offers up a fine-looking and very clear Full Frame picture (1.33:1 aspect ratio). Colors do look a tad dated, though. But, overall, "Rope" looks excellent here! The soundtrack on the disc is in Mono (Dolby Digital 2.0).
The disc's Menu system is simplistic and easy to use (which is OK by me). When the Main Menu is on screen, the theme from Hitch's TV series, "Alfred Hitchcock Presents", plays. This is nice, but I wonder why they didn't use the "Rope" opening theme music for the Menu?
Although not officially labelled as one of Universal's "Collector's Editions", this "Rope" DVD could very well have been so designated. This disc has very nearly as many Special Features as the other Hitchcock "Collector's" packages. Here's a gander at the "Rope" bonus supplements .................
>> A 32-minute documentary, "Rope Unleashed", covering the making of this motion picture. Included here is an interview with actor/writer Hume Cronyn, who collaborated on the "Rope" screenplay. Sadly, not too very long after filming the interview for this DVD, Mr. Cronyn passed away, in June 2003. Many backstage pictures are mixed in with the interview segments, including some eye-opening pics of the color camera equipment of the era. Color cameras during those days were more than "bulky" -- those babies were humongous! And via some still photos we can see just how cumbersome those cameras were, circa 1948.
>> The Original Theatrical Trailer for "Rope". -- I absolutely love this unique trailer. It really (in a way) serves as a "deleted scene" from the movie. And shows us the film's murder victim ("David Kentley") before he falls prey to his killers' rope. The trailer has David (played by Dick Hogan) and his fiancee, Janet (Joan Chandler), sitting on a park bench, talking about their upcoming engagement. It's just a short scene, but sets up some of the plot points very nicely in just a few seconds. After David kisses his betrothed and leaves the park, this becomes more of a "conventional" trailer, with star Jimmy Stewart appearing on camera to narrate. Video quality for this color trailer is a bit splotchy and blurry in places, but still certainly in watchable condition. I think the introduction of the murder victim in this "added" scene was a very clever idea by the filmmakers. Trailer length = 2:25.
>> A very nice Photo Gallery (which has many behind-the-camera images).
>> Some text screens with film notes and cast bios. (There's a kind of funny little mistake in the DVD's bio of John Dall. Dall's character is referred to as "Shaw Brandon" on the text screen, instead of the correct name, "Brandon Shaw".)
Alfred Hitchcock directed more than 50 films -- with "Rope", his first venture into the world of "Technicolor", resting among my personal "Top 10 Hitch Flicks". This Universal Home Video DVD comes recommended by this Hitchcock enthusiast.
5.0 out of 5 stars Rope: The Genius of Alfred Hitchcock,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Rope (DVD)The BEST Hitchcock movie ever made! The plot is delicious. The movie is ghoulish, stylish and suspenseful. Farley Granger just glides across the stage with grace, style and eventually fear for his life. The entire cast is top notch. The setting is Brandon and Phillip's apartment and I was fascinated how there was not one boring moment in this movie. The movie shows the genius of Alfred Hitchcock!
3.0 out of 5 stars Just okay; not great,
This review is from: Rope (DVD)Two pompous young men (John Dall, Farley Granger) commit a murder just for the thrill and satisfaction of pulling off the perfect crime. They hide the body in their living room and then host a cocktail party as if nothing happened. But one guest, their old prep school house master (James Stewart), is suspicious right from the start.
Hitchcock wanted to experiment in filming longer takes, up to ten minutes long, rather than the typical take of just a few seconds. It makes the movie look like a staged play, with the story taking place in just one room, no action, and a lot of talking. James Stewart goes against his usual nice-guy persona to play a cynical and sarcastic man who thinks he knows more than everyone else. He's not likable and that detracts from the story. Dall is charismatic and frightening as the more confident of the killers but Granger's weakling character is too highly-strung, too obviously guilty right from the start. Some subtlety was called for and is missing. All of the supporting actors overact throughout with the exception of Cedric Hardwicke, who is wonderful as a concerned party guest.
The dialogue is too perfect and stagy with everyone taking turns speaking politely and with perfectly measured wit; no one interrupts or pauses. It's not at all realistic. There's never any doubt that the killers will be discovered which eliminates any possible tension or excitement; there is no hero to root for and the villains are too loony to care about. Not one of Hitchcock's better movies.
5.0 out of 5 stars Tense and Unusual HItchcock Classic,
Technically, this is one of Hitchcock's most consciously experimental pieces of film. There is no music at all, except over the credits and in a couple of scenes where Philip plays the piano. And it is made to at least appear to have been shot in a single very long take. In fact it is not and there are a few cuts that maintain an appearance of seamlessness by taking place as the shot passes across some dark surface like the back of a jacket. This contributes nicely to the tension. It does has a certain awkward consequence however in that the action is thereby set in real time and it takes some suspension of disbelief to accept that a society dinner party might last about 45 minutes from start to finish. (It also means that, whether you think this is a movie worth buying or just one to rent, it would be particularly criminal to watch it on TV with commercial interruptions.) Another nice technical touch exploits the location of Brandon and Philip's apartment high in New York and close to some neon signage. For much of the film it is daytime outside but in the scenes towards the end as a climax approaches, a surreal, nightmarish atmosphere is created by the slow by constant modulations of colouring of the light that result.
This is Hitchcock's first movie collaboration with James Stewart who does an excellent job playing a smart intellectual type who gets a nasty shock when he finds two of his students putting into action the clever sounding but disgusting ideas he thought he was so smart in expounding. It's a rather nice study in the perils of a shallow predeliction for novel, supposedly "advanced", moral thinking. (Brandon and Philip, arrogant patricians killing for fun, will have recalled to an American audience of the time the famous '20s case of Leopold and Loeb.) The movie is a interesting moral fable and also a nice, if slightly stagy thriller. It's not one of Hitchcock's greats but it's certainly no dud. There are no high-drama moments of nailbiting suspense but instead a constant uncomfortable tension as social events unfold in an apartment where only two of the participants know there is a fresh corpse in the cupboard just under all those fancy dinner goodies and their nerves are starting to fray...
5.0 out of 5 stars A Play? A Movie? Doesn't Matter, it's Hitchcock!,
This review is from: Rope [Import] (VHS Tape)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. This movie is also a play. Unlike most Hitchcock movies, you won't be taken to the far corners of the globe. You stay right there in the apartment. And for VERY good reason.... You, the audience, must watch that nothing changes in the apartment and yet the murder slowly un-ravels....
The one-room setting does kind of make the movie itself feel like a play. I'm not a big fan of plays and I suppose it's because of the limited scenery possible for a play versus a movie or novel. And yet, this works for me very well. I suppose it's because I know about that rope... and just wait until you know too!
4.0 out of 5 stars A unique showcase for Jimmy Stewart,
What I find fascinating about this film is what it reveals about the skill of the actors, especially Jimmy Stewart. In an ordinary film, a performance is as much the creation of the director and editor as it is the actor. The choice of takes and angles, the pace of the cutting, etc. all work to enhance or subdue an actor's work. In ROPE, with its continuous 10 minute shots, the actors' work is plainly revealed. As in a live play, they are on their own to maintain the pace and the intensity of the drama.
Hitchcock's cast doesn't ever let the energy flag. Farley Grainger and John Dall tear right into the opening, visibly sweating their way through the early murder scene. The drama shifts tone with the introduction of each new actor, but it is not until Jimmy Stewart enters that the movie snaps into place. Where the others are intense and theatrical, Stewart is comfortable and deceptively easy-going. Watch how skillfully he alters the tension and shifts the mood with his control of movement and voice. Even when he is on the edge of the scene his reactions give the drama focus. This is one of Stewart's most underrated performances. He enters this stagy drama, takes a deep breath, and makes it fascinating and fun to watch.
This is still Hitchcock, of course. Note the pacing of the camera, the elegant set and moody lighting, and the cleverly suspenseful use of music. But ROPE I think is most interesting for this unique opportunity to study Jimmy Stewart's skill as an actor.
Watch it again and see what you think!
5.0 out of 5 stars Great cinematic experience.,
By A Customer
The technique used (and the fact that technicolor was used) makes that you feel yourself in the apartment, what, considering that a crude murder is performed at the beginning, is somewhat disturbing. The most impressive performance is that of John Dall (as Brandon Shaw), and the girl, Joan Chandler, is also extraordinary. So is Sir Cedric Hardwicke, in a contemporary paternal role (no shakespearian trimmings). Of course, James Stewart is rather miscast. A more somber senior actor should be used, the kind of James Mason or Charles Boyer.
In the interview, Arthur Laurents seems bent on the idea that this is a homosexual picture, or that homosexuality is its underlying matter. It is true that Brandon and Phillip (John Dall and Farley Granger) work in fact as a couple, and a special relationship between them is sensed. But nothing is explicitly said, on the contrary, Brandon Shaw counts himself as one of the former "romances" of the girl (Joan Chandler).
The unfortunate fact is that from time to time, someone has tried murder as an experience, for the thrill of it, and the play from which the film comes (Patrick Hamilton's) was inspired by the Loeb and Leopold case, back in the twenties, who where exactly as the characters in the film, a homosexual couple, proud and arrogant of their imagined "superiority" and who killed a friend (?) in order to have a smashing experience.
4.0 out of 5 stars 3 1/2 stars for film inspired by Leopold and Loeb case,
Philip (Farley Granger)and Brandon (John Dall)have committed the murder of an old classmate for the thrill of it. They invite over mutual friends, the father and mother of the victim and their old prep school master Rupert (Jimmy Stewart)who first introduced them to Nietzche's theories. They drape a table cloth over the trunk where the dead body rests.
Written by Arthur Laurents and Hume Cronyn from the play Rope's End by Patrick Hamilton, Rope allows Hitchcock to indulge in a number of unusual cinematic experiments. It was Hitchcock's first movie to be shot in color and the entire 80 minute film is shot on one set with the skyline gradually changing. If Hitchcock had gotten his ideal cast the film might have been quite different; originally Hitchcock wanted Carey Grant for the role Stewart player and Montgomery Clift as Brandon.
The transfer is good although there is some edge enhancement and some analog and compression artifacts (although they aren't a huge problem). The vivid 3 strip Technicolor process comes to life on this DVD. The colors are pretty close to the version I saw screened. I should note, though, that I originally saw Rope at the UCLA Theater Arts Archive in black and white (a color copy wasn't available) on a Movieola and it was a nitrate print so I'm comparing it to versions that were released much later than the original.
While Rope isn't a perfect Hitchcock excursion, it's an enjoyable and admirable one that features a number of interesting visuals, strong performances and an interesting thought provoking story. The extras on this edition are quite nice as well including a feaurette entitled Rope Unleased, production photos and notes. Sadly, no extensive outtakes exist for Rope and everything that was written was, for the most part, shot.
Most Helpful First | Newest First
Rope by Alfred Hitchcock (DVD - 2006)