Top 100 Films #100 – Rope (1948)

 

image-w1280#100. Rope (1948)
Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
Written by: Arthur Laurents (based on Rope by Patrick Hamilton)
Starring: James Stewart, John Dall, Farley Granger, Joan Chandler, Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Constance Collier, Douglas Dick, Edith Evanson

The 1940’s were an incredible time for director Alfred Hitchcock who was still relatively new to Hollywood at the time.  This decade saw him solidify his status as “Master of Suspense” with films like Rebecca, Lifeboat, Notorious, Shadow of a Doubt, and Spellbound.  Rope is one of Hitchcock’s many unsung classics from this era – combining his trademark suspense elements with groundbreaking filmmaking to create a bonafide classic.  The film was shot to appear as if it is a single continuous shot (there are 10 very well-hidden cuts throughout), and takes place in real time.  Hitchcock continues to explore the idea of using a single location to create a sense of isolation and claustrophobia – a theme that would bring him even more success with 1954’s Rear Window.  Rope sees two young men (Farley Granger and John Dall) trying to cover up a murder during a dinner party – until their former school headmaster (James Stewart) starts to see the holes in their story.  Hitchcock uses the single location and limited cutting to great effect, creating one of his most suspenseful and engaging films of the 40’s.

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