The Best Alfred Hitchcock Movie,
This review is from: Rope (DVD)
Not being a fan of Alfred Hitchcock films, Rope was an unexpected surprise. Instead of the usual "Whodunit," suspense of most films, Rope shows the whole murder-taking place. The movie begins with two friends, Brandon and Philip, murdering a classmate David for the thrill of committing the act. Instead of dumping the body and moving on with life, they decide to throw a dinner party. Not only do they throw a party, but also they serve the food to the victim's friends and family off of the chest containing the victim.
The whole movie is based around the dinner party. When David, the unsuspecting victim of Brandon and Phillip doesn't show up to the party his friends and family worry about where he is. Little do they suspect that he is in the room all along. The movie plays around the guests talking about David and even coming close to finding his corpse in the chest. The suspense is focused on whether or not David will be found and the two murderers will be caught. The only real down side to the story line is a disappointing ending that lacks thrill and suspense.
Hitchcock took a chance with this film and it turned out to work in his benefit. Instead of shooting in regular film takes, Hitchcock shot the movie in continuous ten-minute takes. This made it appear a lot like a stage play (which it originally was). When Hitchcock did change takes he did it in very sneaky ways. An example of this would be cutting into the back of a person and then changing to another person. Also instead of just going from one shot to the next he would have the camera follow, an example would be using a close up of a drink to change to another person. This gave the impression to the viewers of being right there where all the action was taking place. Watching the movie made it feel like one was actually at the dinner party.
The acting in this movie was also a nice surprise. James Stewart fit very well into the role of Rupert. Rupert played an important part in the film as Philip and Brandon's old teacher. He was the one who made Brandon think that murder is an art. It was an unusual part for him and he took a chance by playing it. No one could have done a better job than him. The emotions portrayed by John Dall and Farley Granger, who played the killers, were very believable to the viewers. Farley Granger, who played Philip, did an excellent job showing fear and remorse. Through out the movie Philip felt remorseful and his feelings came through in the way he acted. He had a hard time through out the whole dinner party and during more than one occasion said unusual things. Once he started drinking the weird outbursts came more often. The only acting job that I felt was bad was Constance Collier's portray of Mrs. Atwato. This woman couldn't act if her life depended on it. Her facial expressions did not fit the plot. She seemed to always be smiling even when the scene would call for her to frown. Who smiles when people are seriously talking about killing other people? She herself almost destroyed this movie for me. Luckily, the others did such a great job it overshadowed her poor performance.
All in all, I think this is the best Alfred Hitchcock movie made. After passionately disliking both Psycho and The Birds, I expected Rope to be the same kind of horrible movie with bad acting. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that this film was unlike any other movie Hitchcock made. It was suspenseful in a whole new way. Rope kept my interest the whole time, which is unusual for me during any films. I would highly recommend this movie to anyone who likes the unusual in suspense films. Rope is an excellent film and Hitchcock pulled it off great.