Peaceful Stoner’s review published on Letterboxd:
There were two dogs. One named Brandon and other named Phillip. Thier master taught them about the world and tricks.He taught them to be intellectually superior. But when they grew up they grew arrogant and thought they were special wholly superior beings. Especially Brandon who grew into a manipulative, sinister, hypocritical and narcissistic dog and a very bad one at that. He was always into the habit of convincing and influencing Phillip to do things which piqued his curiosity. One such enamours of Brandon was to bite a human being. They thought their master would be proud of their courageous deed and of them. They did bite a human being. Phillip immediately begins to panic and is not himself. When the master arrives home Phillip becomes even more paranoid. Eventually he gives in and the master finds out their deed. He is ashamed of them and angered because all his teachings have gone a waste. He sends them back to the doghouse.
On a serious note I have seen Rope innumerable times and I never seem to get tired of it. Alfred Hitchcock once said that Rope was "an experiment that did not work out." I have no idea why he said that because I consider this to be one of Hitch's best films.
Like all Hitchcock films the suspense is built up in a masterful way. But the real difference that Rope has that other films don't is the hermetically closed setting where all the action takes place. And it is a beautiful setting at that with the gorgeous cyclorama in the background( which I adore and look at in amazement every time I watch this film). The film is dialogue heavy and I love the way each and every piece of dialogue had some part to play in the unravelling of the mystery. I am at absolute awe at how Hitchcock could make an ordinary inconspicuous act like a maid cleaning the dinner table as one of the most thrilling acts of the film. That is the hallmark of a true genius. This entire film, I always feel is like walking on a rope and you constantly wonder how and when the suspense is going to break.
The long ten minute takes provide a mesmerising and immersive feel for the audience. Like all other Hitch films this movie also had a lot of new experiments like walls on wheels, fiberglass clouds, sunset coming soon to elongate the time of movie etc.
The performances of all the actors are worth mentioning, from the ordinary chit chattering Anita Atwater, the panicky, faltering Phillip, the severely authoritative, narcissistic Brandon played by James Dall, and the infallible Rupert Cadell played by the colossal James Stewart. Every one of them breathe in wonderfully splendid life into their characters.
All in all I never would know why this was regarded a failure when it was released. Might be because it was destined to become a true cult film later on. In my mind this would always be an outstanding testament to the master innovator and film maker named Alfred Hitchcock.
P.S. I mentioned Brandon was a deplorable dog because any human being who does not treat all fellow beings as equals is not a human being at all. And should be deemed fit to be sent to the doghouse for the rest of their incarcerated lives. I spit this comment angrily because the play on which the film was based on was inspired by real life events.