Rope ★★★★

"The power to kill can be just as satisfying as the power to create." - Brandon

Theatrical to a fault, Alfred Hitchcock's nervy hoot of a suspense piece, Rope, is an ambitiously inconsistent effort that paves the way for many future masterworks. Utilising the one-take technique to create a balletic snail-trail of debauchery and humour, Hitchcock's fleeting thriller is chock-full of nasty little hints and hilarious ignorance, no doubt taking the original play's barbed wit to new levels of discomfort.

Good ol' Jimmy Stewart steals the show, but there's plenty material for everyone, particularly in the villainous leading duo of Farley Granger and John Dall, the latter of which giving an unpredictable performance, full of minor stutters and shit-eating grins. There is also some delightfully 'of-its-time' melodrama from the hysterical Constance Collier as the stereotypical quirky aunt, but it's Stewart's film all the way; it might be one of his most morally-ambiguous roles, but he still retains his heroic likeability amidst all the blacker-than-black humour.

Although the single-take trick might be without much intention and positively rudimentary compared to today's marvel, Birdman, Rope is still an intense and truly funny pot-boiler of the bourgeoisie, made all the more effective when you realise that it was made three years after Hitler put a bullet in his brain. Scary stuff.

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