Having already seen most of Hitchcock’s greatest films, I pretty much knew what to expect from Rope. I’ve never made a worst prediction!
Two young roommates, Brandon (John Dall) and Philip (Farley Granger), decide to commit the perfect crime by killing a former classmate, David. In order to seal the deal and prove their superiority, they host a party where David’s parents and finacée are invited. But among the guests is Rupert (James Stewart), their former professor, whose misunderstood lectures lead the two aesthetes to murder.
I think that Rope might be my favourite film directed by Hitchcock. With the motive being revealed from the very beginning and the murder being out of the way, we get to focus on the killers and closely observe their strange relationship. We clearly see who’s the dominant and who’s the submissive one (a motif that applies to most partners in crime), while their homosexual relations are implied, and surprisingly managed to escape censorship.
Technically speaking, Hitchcock’s use of long -barely edited- takes, leads to a film that appears as a single continuous shot. Based on Patrick Hamilton’s play of the same name, the director chose quite a controversial subject, that was masterfully delivered by everyone, but mainly by the three lead characters and their excellent performances.