Rope: Film Review

fig. 1

Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock
Starring: James Stewart, Farley Granger, Joan Chandler, John Dall
Year of release: August 23 1948

Alfred Hitchcock's audacious film 'Rope' is a sort of bridge between the worlds of film making and traditional theatre, giving the viewer a sort of interactive play with the camera serving as the viewers body. The film is shot in a way that makes it seem to have no cuts and tells the story of a sadistic murder and the bold dinner party held by the murderers whilst deriving pleasure from the knowledge that their victims body was always just out of sight. All of this to prove their "innate superiority" over "a victim who is inferior to them". (Roger Ebert, 1984)

Fig. 2

The film does well to make the viewer feel as though they were invited to the dinner party being held and is, as Pamela Hutchinson put it "filmed excruciatingly close to real time" (The Guardian, 2012), because after a time one feels not as if they are watching a movie but are instead a silent observer hovering around the room as the events unfold.

Fig. 3

  However, in the early to mid portions of the film while there is very little action as one review put it "the punctuated flow of image becomes quite monotonous" (New York Times, 1948). Put simply the viewer feels too much a part of the environment this often meaning that though out the early stages of the film we go through conversation and interactions that are less than intriguing and due to the lack of cuts and camera effects it is sometimes tricky to get a true understanding of what the director wants us to feel during each interaction.   


Ebert R. (1984) Review: Rope At: (Accessed on 25/01.2015)

Hutchinson P. (2012) My Favorite Hitchcock: Rope At: (Accessed on 25/01.2015)
Crowther B. (1948) The Screen in review: Rope At: (Accessed on 25/01.2015)

Illustration List:

Figure 1: Poster for the films 'Rope' found on -

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Figure 3:


  1. Hi Tumo,

    Ok, you have touched on some of the key aspects of this film, but you really need to go into greater depth now... for example, you mention the fact that the film appears to have no cuts; you could have expanded on this and mentioned how it was achieved. You could also have talked about the use of sound as a means of building tension (the ticking metronome, the discordant piano) or the use of light and colour (the flashing neon lights, the gradual change in the colour of the skyline outside to show the passing of time) for example.

    Don't forget to italicise you quotes, as well as the film name...and make sure you are consistent with your font - you have a few variations going on here!


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