Another film thoughts post, because I’m playing major catch up! Luckily for number two on my 31 Before 31 list, I found a Hitchcock box set that I knew was hiding in my house somewhere. It has fourteen films in it, and I’ve seen one of them, so if I watch all of them I will be able to tick off number two! I started with Rope.
Two men strangle a friend they consider inferior, and hide his body in a trunk in their apartment. They then play host to his friends and family at a dinner party, where they hope to prove that they have committed the perfect murder.
What I Liked
- James Stewart. He’s awesome in just about anything he’s in, but I thought he was especially good in this. I enjoyed watching him working out what was going on, and see how his views on murder are turned around completely.
- Alfred Hitchcock is not called the master of suspense for nothing. The tension in Rope is there all the time, because as the audience we know that there is a body in the apartment, and we are just waiting for someone else to discover it.
- I love the way that Rupert Cadell (James Stewart’s character) is built up. He is talked about constantly before he arrives; John Dall’s character, the murderer, Brandon, is eager for him to arrive because he believes that if Rupert ever discovers what they have done, he will be impressed.
- The actual arrival of Rupert is great too. Before he arrives, Brandon is in control; he has control over his co-conspirator, Phillip (played by Farley Granger), and he is exerting control over the rest of the group because he knows that he has killed their loved one. When Rupert arrives, everything changes, and it’s clear that he is instantly in a superior position, even though he knows nothing about the murder.
- The main characters are gay, and although this is never alluded to explicitly, it’s clear that they are in a relationship and living together. For a film made in 1948, it’s rather brave to make it clear (even without confirming it), that two men were living together.
- Without giving too much away, the scene in which the housekeeper is preparing to return some books to the chest is brilliant. Everyone is chatting while the camera stays fixed on her as she moves between two rooms, and you really aren’t sure whether or not this will be the moment when everything comes to light.
What I Didn’t Like
- There was nothing I didn’t like about this film. If I was a proper film reviewer, I’m sure I’d be able to come up with something, but I’m not. I’m a film watcher, and I loved it. It’s one that I know I will watch time and time again.