Rope ★★★½

Film #14 of the June Challenge

I haven't watched enough Hitchcock films to really determine how I feel about him as a director, but as of today he's far from my favorite director. I'd heard good things about Rope from die hard Hitchcock fans and haters alike, so I was intrigued. The premise is that two young, entitled men pull off what they think is the perfect murder right before a dinner party at the scene of the crime. Brandon is the more aggressive of the two, but it's Phillip who commits the murder by strangling their former classmate David. Brandon is so high on the adrenaline from the crime that he pushes for increasingly risky clues in order to dare someone to notice their crime. The guests at the party include people very close to David who constantly ask about him and worry about his safety.

Where the film gets interesting is what inspired them to kill David. Rupert, a successful publisher, had a huge impact on Brandon a few years earlier when he discussed the "art of murder" and how inferior people deserved to be eliminated. Rupert is in attendance at the party and is the only one who picks up on all the clues that lead him to suspect that Brandon and Phillip may have killed David. All of this is explained in detail during the film, all seeming to take place in "real time" with interesting camera techniques and excellent close-ups of elements related to the murder. Rope passes by in the blink of an eye. It's so quick and straightforward that it's impossible to lose your interest. However, it does feel overly verbose and can take a while to get to the point. It's totally worth it for the first and last scenes - both are jarring and unconventional ways to begin and end a film.

Simone liked this review