- Director: Alfred Hitchcock
- Writer: Patrick Hamilton; Hume Cronyn
- Producer: Sidney Bernstein; Alfred Hitchcock
The Leopold & Loeb case gets its first screen outing via Mr Hitchcock.
It’s been criticised for being experimental – well, where the fuck would we be without experiments?
There are only a handful of edits, the camera never blinks and it is truly mesmerising.
Hitcock’s complexity is further tested as he filmed in real-time.
This is cinema that pushed and broke boundaries – we should all be very grateful to the Master.
Simply, it’s just very, very clever.
Brandon and Philip are two young men who share a New York apartment. They consider themselves intellectually superior to their friend David Kentley and as a consequence decide to murder him. Together they strangle David with a rope and placing the body in an old chest, they proceed to hold a small party. The guests include David's father, his fiancée Janet and their old schoolteacher Rupert from whom they mistakenly took their ideas. As Brandon becomes increasingly more daring, Rupert begins to suspect.
“It’s supposed to be about homosexuals, and you don’t even see the boys kiss each other,” Jean Renoir once said of Rope. “What’s that?” This comment, seemingly dismissive, actually reaches to the heart of the movie, a work very much about what we see, and what we don’t. A virtuosic formal achievement, Rope plays out as a single continuous shot, accomplished by the use of hidden cuts. Hitchcock’s first color film was adapted by gay screenwriter Arthur Laurents from a stage play that was, in turn, based on the infamous 1924 Leopold and Loeb case, in which two young lovers murdered a 14-year-old boy in cold blood. Yet the on-screen depiction of homosexuality was verboten in the 1940s, so Farley Granger and John Dall, the queer actors cast as the killers, gamely maneuvered through a scenario that, even by the standards of a Hitchcock film, is drenched in innuendo.