Monday, 6 February 2012

Review of Rope

 Figure one - Poster

Rope is a 1948 American thriller film based on the play Rope (1929) by Patrick Hamilton and adapted by Hume Cronyn (treatment) and Arthur Laurents, directed by Alfred Hitchcock and produced by Sidney Bernstein and Hitchcock as the first of their Transatlantic Pictures productions. Starring James Stewart, John Dall and Farley Granger, it is the first of Hitchcock's Technicolor films, and is notable for taking place in real time and being edited so as to appear as a single continuous shot through the use of long takes.

Directed by - Alfred Hitchcock
Produced by - Alfred Hitchcock and Sidney Bernstein
Written by - Patrick Hamilton (play Rope (1929)
Genre – Drama, Mystery, Suspense 
Duration – 1hr 17 mins

Rope gets going straight away from the start, with the opening scene of Brandon and Phillip killing of David and then putting him into a chest in the centre of the room. Instantly after that the audience can see Brandon can handle it with ease and being excited about it but for Phillip who’s having trouble dealing with what they have just done. Which makes one thing there’s going to be trouble keeping it a secret because you got Brandon who seems he wants to tell the world about it and be proud and Phillip who is scared and worried there going to caught.

Then to make things worse their having party at the flat where they’ve hide the body, and to make things even worse David’s parents and friends are coming. Once the audience find out that there’s going to be a party where David is hidden, it creates great suspense as knowing someone got to open up the chest for something. Then Brandon decides to put all the food and cutlery on the chest instead of the dining table which makes everyone think he’s either crazy or smart.

 Figure two - The set 

The films was an experiment for Hitchcock, abandoning most standard film techniques which allowed for the long unbroken scenes, it is said there isn’t any editing within the film but one can see there is a few moments such as when the camera angle zooms into a back of a character to make it less obvious but this was done twice within the film which made it stand out to me personally, as Mr. Phillip Jr agrees.

“The supposedly invisible editing is more of a distraction than being really innovative.”  (Phillip Jr. 2002)

Due to Hitchcock experimenting with “Rope” the film felt very stagy at moments such as when Brandon, Phillip and Rupert are talking, so that Phillip is in the shot he walks right up to the other two just to fit into the scene.

“Experimental Hitchcock murder mystery, very stagey” (Crum, 2004)

 Figure Three - The Maid and Chest 

The scene where the maid is cleaning the buffet away from the chest and the camera is set on the chest watching her, while the characters are off to the side talking about where David could be. The long angled shot of the maid walking from the kitchen all the way back to the chest, then slowly clears the table cloth to open the chest, This is probably one of the best scenes in the film as its feeding the audience slow build up of suspense then just as she’s opening it she is stopped by Brandon which makes Rupert even more curious about where David is.   

Then once all the guests leave and one assumes they get away with it as they’re about to leave to bury the body and just as they’re waiting for their car and Rupert rings up asking if he could come up because he’s left his cigarettes behind, which brings back the suspense due to the audience knowing about Rupert knowing about them killing David which causes greater thrills when he comes up to get his cigarettes case   which he didn’t leave, it was just an excuse to come back and confront them about it.

Then as Rupert is describing how he would have planned on killing David, the camera goes around the room and looking at each object as he would say to Phillip and Brandon, which made it feel like one was a detective looking at crime scene for any evidence.

“manipulative editing and control of the audiences viewpoint.” (Brown, 2000)

Overall after seeing the murder and finding out they’re going to have a party with David in the chest, which makes  everyone think that some think is just going to open it up and find him but once Rupert and his expertises is coming the suspense becomes greater knowing someone like Rupert might pick up on the situation, which he does. 

Illustrations - 


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