Film Review

Rope Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Figure 01. Film Poster Release: 1948 Director: Alfred Hitchcock Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery Country: USA

A brief synopsis of Alfred Hitchcock’s film Rope (1948) is about two young men named Brandon and Philip who lived together in a wealthy looking apparent in New York. They think of themselves as intellectual superior beings to most people especially their friend Dave, because of this they decide to murder him with one piece of rope, after doing so they hide his body ready for the guests to come over who are relatives and friends of David. They both try to act as if nothings happened but things get more intense and suspicious as the night goes on. Hitchcock’s way of filming and editing of Rope was interesting as he had it all filmed in one set and wanted it to feel as if there was no editing done to the film as if the camera was constantly rolling through out the whole film. As Bosley Crowther says “ Mr. Hitchcock has tried the trick of shooting full-length picture in one set and in one continuous scene.” (Crowther 2000) although it seemed that Hitchcock filmed it all in one take there was obvious parts of editing which is when the camera would zoom right into the back of someone and then zoom out to the new scene.

Figure 02. Zooming into characters back

The use of the camera in Hitchcock’s film Rope helped portray a lot of things such as the suspense of certain scenes and the intensity of the characters, just as Vincent Canby states “ he denies himself the usual tools of his trade to find out just how effective the camera can be, working more or less on its own. It swoops and pries about the set, moving from close-ups to long shots to medium shots, with a kind of studied indifference.” (Canby 2000) Rope was based on a true story with two men that were secretly homosexuals because in that time period it was taboo to be known as one. The way Hitchcock did close ups with Brandon and Philip when they would talk to each other it always seemed they were closer then needed to be, making things feel more intimate which was a great way to show the characters relationship without actually stating anything.

Figure 03. Brandon and Phillip

The long takes of the film help to give Rope a great sense of suspense as Fernando F. Croce states “Far from just "recording a play," the suffocating long takes enforce ethical contemplation by refusing the relief of a cut” (Croce 2006) the way the camera holds its place in the scene makes the audience know where they should be directing their attention. An example of this is when the maid is clearing the chest that Dave has been hidden in as both the maid and Rupert both look at the chest for quite a long time making things feel tense and making the suspense drag on which was found to kill the mood but other people tend to have found it much more effective wondering on if they’re going to up it or not.

Figure 04. Preparing to open chest

Illustration:
Figure 01. Film Poster (1948) [Film Poster] http://images.moviepostershop.com/rope-movie-poster-1948-1020198503.jpg (Accessed on: 21/01/2013) Figure 02. Zooming into characters back (1948) [Video Screen shot] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaZceiDCC2A (2:31) (Accessed on: 21/01/2013) Figure 03. Brandon and Phillip (1948) [Film Still] http://garbolaughs.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/rope_screencap1.jpg?w=600 (Accessed on: 21/01/2013) Figure 04. Preparing to open chest (1948) [Film Still] http://1.bp.blogspot.com/--HFon773OU/TzArHuPkfpI/AAAAAAAAAls/OwXgBnpl3bE/s1600/Rope+tense+ch est+scene.jpg (Accessed on 21/01/2013)

Bibliography:
Bosley Crowther (2000) Rope. In: http://www.nytimes.com [Online] At: http://www.nytimes.com/library/film/081748hitch-rope-review.html (Accessed on: 21/01/2013) Vincent Canby (2000) Rope. In: http://www.nytimes.com [Online] At: http://www.nytimes.com/library/film/060384hitch-rope-reflection.html (Accessed on: 21/01/2013) Fernando F. Croce (2006) Rope. In: http://www.slantmagazine.com [Online] At: http://www.slantmagazine.com/dvd/review/rope/948 (Accessed on 21/01/2013)

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