Xplodera’s review published on Letterboxd:
“At least if I have a hangover it will be all mine”
Rope (or the Unexpected Virtue of Murder) is a movie with potential to be overshadowed by its technical marvels. The fact that it’s so seemingly shot in one take is nothing but admirable and while it may not be as effective as in for example Birdman (though obviously understandable, given the time between them) it does create a good feeling of real-time and it’s pretty fascinating to feel how fast time can actually fly by.
What Hitchcock also succeeds with in the nature of Rope is just the feeling of a dinner party, there’s constantly people talking at each other with several overlapping conversations taking place in the same time and while some of the side characters feels a bit like cardboard it creates a good feeling. As interesting as everything during the party is though, it also creates one of the movie’s problems as well.
The master of suspense actually has several scenes in Rope where he doesn’t really tighten up the tension like he can. There are definitely nail-biting scenes between Farley Granger and (the superb) James Stewart that is great and with his very long takes Hitchcock can stretch out his scenes to really build up the tension. But on the other hands, there’s several times where it’s not that exciting regarding the chest with the dead body, it’s like the tension rarely manages to evolve forward from its basic concept.
Still though, the basic premise here is great and the best accomplishment of Rope is Hitchcock’s genius way of taking a unique and fairly simple concept to create great tension. I wish it could’ve been like that a bit more often – but with the superb chemistry between John Dall and Farley Granger, the filmmaking and Joan Chandler’s greatness this is still a thriller that surpasses many others of its kind.