For his first film both as a producer and in color, Alfred Hitchcock set out on a bold experiment to adapt a drawing-room set stage play about the playful murder of a former classmate by two friends in a singularly composed presentation through as few cuts as physically possible for the time. Rope has often been dismissed as a one-off film by the legendary master for being singular in its technical ambition, but beneath the gag and conceit of the framing is a gripping and thrilling story centered around a hidden corpse and the arrogance of the nouveau riche who treat murder like a game. Hitchcock carefully paces out the story with the same deftness of execution seen in his later masterpieces, weaving between rooms and various shot compositions while incorporating cuts only when the magazine has run out of film. As one of the “Lost Hitchcocks,” Rope was rarely seen until the 1980s, where it reevaluated and came to be regarded as one of his more noteworthy works. It has certainly earned its placed in the Hitchcock pantheon, proving to be more than the failed experiment some considered it to be upon its initial release.
0:00 Cabin sessions
2:34 The launch of NBC’s Peacock
9:00 No summer movie season
13:56 The Painted Bird
23:04 The Rental
25:40 She Dies Tomorrow
The Twin Geeks · 84: Rope (1948)