Rope ★★★★½

One of Hitchcock's most underrated and finest works. This is the platform of play, where Hitchcock blends the idea of the stage and the film into one; "Rope" is a thriller that attacks the beliefs of intellectuals, fellows who read too much Nietzsche and believe every word their heroes say. Justification of obscene acts, murder, the "supermen" idea that has become warped in History, is performed with the signature rope, taking a man, a friend, a lover, a son, and a colleague from the Earth. Hitch follows suit with the mental depletion, the eroticism of a kill, the thrill, and the joy.

This is merely another work where Hitch's pseudo-sexual themes and fascination of death are expressed. What follows is Hitch's manipulation of stage and film, the "experiment" with the long takes is Hitch's most hated thing about this film (he's not a fan of it to begin with), but here's the thing: look at all the influences future works would do to make it seem their films were recorded in one take. "Rope" and its gimmick aren't just a gimmick: they're the future, the play with the form begins and camera and blocking collide in a finale so chilling, you'd swear you're there. The moment seizes up; Brandon grabs the drink, determined to get hammered, Phillip plays the tune that will haunt him forever, and Rupert looks on, destroyed by his beliefs that his students abused. Lives and philosophies are changed.

This isn't merely a crime thriller: it's Hitchcock's critique of the brain and the mind and the mouth, in the form of an 80 minute white-knuckle intensifier. Come for the murder, stay for the heavy blows.

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