Rope - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Rope Reviews

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Paris S.
Super Reviewer
½ October 9, 2015
Compelling suspense that is always at work, holding your attention taught as if ensnared. One of Stewart's most interesting performances. Recalls Crime and Punishment in its key argument made by the duo responsible for the murder.
½ September 22, 2015
Alfred Hitchcock's performance-driven drama is a simple picture, favouring subtleties over style, and experimentation over innovation.
The film's theatrical roots prickle through every frame and line of dialogue, and Hitchcock uses the kitchen sink setting to draw attention to his characters' expressions, cadences and shortcomings in a way seldom seen outside of courts and conviction rooms.
It's rare to see a film so wholeheartedly reliant on its actors, but when Hitch's experiment works, Rope is a bubbling cauldron of wits and weaknesses. When it doesn't, it's a circular bickering battle grounded in subtle homoeroticism.
½ September 19, 2015
Legitimately suspenseful, solidly directed, and gracefully shot, though there are a couple slipups in that last case. A straight-from-stageplay adaptation that is enhanced by what only movies can do.
September 3, 2015
Two probably homosexual intellectual socialites commit the perfect murder and have a dinner party to commemorate, but are foiled by an equally intellectual former professor in this amazing real-time Hitchcock film, his first color, that appears with superior editing to film it in one continuous shot. The ethics of eugenics and Nietzsche are put to the test, and good guy Jimmy Stewart thwarts the uppity villains
½ August 16, 2015
good, good only a little too slow
½ August 16, 2015
Almost perfectly crafted this supposed "made-to-look-like-one-take" picture from Hitchcock. It's brilliantly told though, and the suspense builds as the film moves along. It start with it's opening shocking scene and to know more before seeing this classic is better left unsaid. James Stewart and the other players at hand here work perfectly against each other. To watch it all unravel was more exciting than most modern movies, I've seen. Hitchcock shows us once again what all he is capable of making when it comes to feature films and this is no exception. Apparently this is also loosely based on a real case in history as well as a famous play from back in the 40's. What Hitchcock does here is recreates the stage to screen with long single shot takes that feel like they were all filmed in one night where everyone was spot on.
½ August 5, 2015
One of my favorite Hitchcock pictures!
½ August 5, 2015
Today's film in my ongoing Hitchcock marathon is ROPE, in what is yet another prime example of how he was able to ratchet up the tension to keep the audience completely invested in the story. This time around, two friends strangle their classmate, hide his body in their apartment, and then proceed to invite his family, friends, and former teacher to prove to themselves that they committed the "perfect murder." One thing I heard about this film way before actually watching it was that it was edited to appear as if it was filmed in a single take. While I had my reservations about this in BIRDMAN, where it often felt like a gimmick, it felt more natural here. As this was based on a stage play, the constantly roving camera helped it from feeling "stagey." I also found the central conceit (at least to the two friends) of murder being an intellectually superior act quite interesting, and the way in which James Stewart's Rupert plays off of this was rather brilliant (as they were his theories to begin with). In general, I found the performances to be solid, although not spectacular (save from James Stewart, who is always a pleasure to watch). Hitchcock did an excellent job of staging the action and slowly building the tension regarding the big elephant in the middle of the room, so to speak. On a completely random side note, John Dall (who played Brandon) and Ben Affleck look a lot alike, to the point where kept on picturing the latter in a remake (which they should never do, by the way). Overall, I didn't find this as exciting as the last two Hitchcock films I watched (SABOTEUR and SHADOW OF A DOUBT), but it had a well-executed story and a solid technical construction.
July 27, 2015
Rope is one of Hitchcock's lesser known and underrated -- yet very
brilliant -- moments. Did you notice how the continuous flow of the camera (Hitchcock disguised most of the necessary cuts rather deftly) climaxes in the penultimate conversation between Phillip, Rupert (James Stewart) and Brandon? The kinetic movement of the camera "becomes" Rupert's theoretical POV (and the late David Kentley's probable POV) as he muses with the dangerous (and drunk) young men about exactly how he would have murdered David. Rupert falters for a moment in his mock planning, avoiding the obvious choice of placing the body in the large chest, while the camera moves swiftly in the opposite direction that Rupert describes.

The characterization -- or how the audience occupies the spaces of the characters -- is more disturbing than the murder itself. For the whole party/film we are forced to watch the hapless victims of the deceased's father, fiancee, and friends as they are unconscious of the irony that only Phillip and Brandon are cognizant. The audience is identified neither with
Phillip/Brandon or with the family/friends alone, but strangely with both: we, ourselves, were given special access to the murder and have been with Phillip and Brandon from the beginning. It is this identification with those we would not -- socially and publicly -- wish to identify with that Hitchcock makes the most of (this isn't the first time, and it won't be the last that he would use this phenomena.) The experience of suspense builds in this time we have spent with Brandon and Phillip and in our (partial) allegiance to these characters. Imagine beginning the film ten or even five minutes after the opening credits -- the audience's experience of the party would be almost utterly identified with the family and friends of David. The party would seem (as it did to many of them) as simply bizarre. Hitchcock's placing of the murder anterior to everything gives the body a kind of "signifier"- like quality: we "know" it is there, but it effects us in it the traces of its presence (in this case, tucked safely away in the chest and the memories of the hosts/guests. The chest is a signifier for the body itself, which we never see again after it is placed inside.)

Hitchcock's camera is far more alienated in this film than in his former and latter works, and while we could say this was no doubt influenced by his technical choices, I prefer to see the camera work as a meaningful artistic structure of the film. The camera fluidly captures each macabre moment as it glides from one conversation to another, each darkly cast by the disturbing subtexts of the murder and the unknown presence of the body. For my money, Rope is suspense in one of its most pure and rare forms: the audience knows everything -- motive, the hidden body, the murder weapon -- and we are left too squirm in our seats.
July 27, 2015
I usually like talky films, no matter what the genre, but something was seriously missing here. I think since it's a Hitchcock film, my expectations were automatically high, not considering the fact that this was the first colored film that Hitchcock directed and produced. I did like the real-time touch, the simplicity of the story, the electrifying performances (notably James Stewart), and the authentic dialogue back in the day. My complaint lies in the lack of extra "oomph" that I look for in thrillers. This picture could've been better if thrilling scenes were dispersed here and there rather than taking notice of nondescript images and character interactions throughout. Still, compared to a lot of modern thrillers out there, this is pretty good. With its short running time, I'll be willing to give it another chance.
July 23, 2015
This was a suspense roller coaster. Often peaking your interest and then slowing it down. Older movies aren't normally my favorites and John Dall's cockiness went a bit far towards the end but it wasn't a bad way to spend 80 mins.
½ July 5, 2015
A "chamber thriller" as perhaps only Hitch could have done it. It's not perfect, but it's flaws are all in pursuit of an overall tonal and technical consistency. That's really about all you can ask for in a film.
½ June 30, 2015
Great film but not one i would only take on a deserted island if I had the chance
June 27, 2015
150627: Fun little film. So little required making a classic. One set, a few good actors and some great dialogue.
½ June 21, 2015
Such a good movie. Explores some interesting ideas. The long takes were cool. The cuts were quite obvious but for the time, it's quite impressive. Got quite tense at parts. I was literally screaming when the housekeeper was cleaning and even began to open the chest. Hitchcock really does know how to play an audience! I didn't see any of this supposed homosexual subtext. If Hitchcock intentionally included it, I can't argue with that. I just don't see it. And don't think it relates anyway. If it does, I think that would have unfortunate implications. Whatev. Anyway. Great movie. Very engaging. Jimmy Stuart is awesome.
½ June 13, 2015
Phenomenal camera work and another classic character portrayal by Jimmy Stewart are the two main factors that make this film passable. True to form Hitchcock slips in the "reverse Bond scene" where the good guy explains to the bad guy how the main crime did/could have gone down (as opposed to the James Bond bad guy explaining his entire plot for world domination before actually attempting to kill 007). A similar scene was done in Dial M for Murder.

Yet I found myself unable to get past the one major (and, to me) glaring plot-hole in this film: there is no plausible reason for Rupert (Stewart) to automatically assume that his college buddies had nefariously done something to the lone missing party guest. AH attempts to explain this away by repeating (often) how Rupert has a mind that works similar to Brandon's and especially Phillip's. But the explanation just doesn't hold water for me. Were I to attend a dinner party, and someone that is perpetually on time was a no-show, it would take ALOT MORE for me to conclude that my friends had kidnapped/murdered said guest than the fact that I knew the hosts to be curious and mischevious.

Regardless, a fun, quick film with exquisite camera work and a heavy sense of paranoia and trepidation certainly keeps the viewer's attention for the duration. I wouldn't dispute someone that held this movie in higher esteem based on the script, but for me, as I said, that plot-hole completely engulfed my digestion of this film. (And as a final aside, I wonder if the 80 minutes would have been more satisfying as is, were we never to see the murder take place in the opening frame. In other words, have this movie, but leave it up to the viewer to debate whether or not a crime actually was committed at all by Phillip and Brandon, or whether Rupert was just overly paranoid and out of line. Until the penultimate scene of course. And fear not, this is no spoiler, for the murder is quite literally the first thing you see in this film after the opening credits.....Dear me, apologies for this rant, apparently I had a decent amount to say about Rope!)
May 27, 2015
Utterly compelling and absorbing, Rope had me in suspense the whole time. Hitchcock masterpiece.
½ May 26, 2015
Saw this on 16/09/2013
Rope is the 3rd Alfread Hitchcock film that I have seen. My personal favourite of his films is Psycho(1960) and I certainly feel that this film is better than North By Northwest(1959). The main thing I liked about this film is the strong dialogue. Once you go past the first half an hour, every single dialogue that comes at you wou;ld have a strong sense and they are not just mere dialogues. The only problem that I felt with this film is that in the beginning itself they show a murder committed by the hero's. They do it because they believe that murder is only meant for superior beings. That's acceptable, but the film maker never tells you why this particular victim was selected. That's a fault for sure. Other than this, Rope is a film with a good social commentary. The two main leads are my favourite in this film, Brandon is the strong one who does not fear about the coincidences of his actions(murder in fact) and I feel that I am more like Phillip. Phillip is always confused, and his lack of guts leads to the murder being caught open. I feel that i am more like Phillip because if I commit a murder and if I am put in such a situation, then I would definitely fail to save my neck.
½ April 30, 2015
This is a very entertaining movie that takes place on just one set and basically one room. James Stewart is one of my favorite actors and works very well with genius Alfred Hitchcock. The one thing I can't pick out is the motive of the murder. This movie is easy to recommend as it's short and to the point.
April 17, 2015
It takes a while to get started, but when it does u are in for a ride.
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