Two men try to prove to themselves that there is such a thing called the perfect crime. And they try to prove this while hosting a dinner party. The guest of honor is the victim, and friends and acquaintances are functioning as their decor. Will their grand scheme work?
This is a typical Alfred Hitchcock film because of the impressive use of Mise-en-scène. At times I even forgot that this is an ‘old film’ not only because I watched it in color, but also because of the intriguing, and modern characters. Additionally, I never expected the character Janet (played by Joan Chandler) to be this independent. It was a real pleasant surprise to see that female characters were able to convey intelligence, strength, and determination in a 1948’s movie. Probably this was enabled, and supported by Alfred Hitchcock himself.
Moreover, the plot development is perfect because it finds the right balances between rising action, climax, and falling action. During one specific scene one of the characters starts to ask moral questions related to crime, hanging, and murder. This evolves into a conversation about ethics, and touches upon the perfect crime which makes multiple scenes more exciting. Additionally, it gives this film an extra dimension because it is not just a movie about crime like your average noir detective.
The dialogue is also on point. There are numerous witty dialogue lines which make this movie funny, and interesting. The majority of interesting dialogue comes from the protagonist because his words can often be interpreted in multiple different ways. At other times they have a double meaning which shows certain props that are part of the perfect crime. This eventually evolves into a cat and mouse game where one of the people at the party is getting suspicious. What follows is a chess-like game that includes various interrogation techniques.
To be honest I have no idea why this film is only rated a 8.0/10 (as of now) because there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. Yes, it could be the case that not enough people are interested in the Alfred Hitchcock experience. However, in my opinion this is really silly. Anyway, the point is that “Rope” is still very relevant in today’s movie industry, and that is something that many movies from the 1940’s can’t say about themselves. Therefore, I think that this movie deserves much more respect.
You might wonder about the acting, and yes the acting is also perfect. There is not one moment that is melodramatic. Although you can argue that the second protagonist of the perfect murder has a bunch of scenes which are too much. And by too much I mean overdoing it, which can be classified as “overacting”. However, I still think that it is appropriate to the overall story because it separates the two protagonists from one another. The first protagonist can be classified as ‘The initiator’, while the second is more of a ‘weak follower’.
Therefore, the overall conclusion is that in my opinion this movie couldn’t be any better. However if you are the kind of person that doesn’t like the 1940’s setting then you might want to watch a modern movie instead. Moreover, if you have never watched a 1940’s movie then I advise you to start with this one (color version). Because it feels relatively modern when compared to the other films from that time period. Additionally, it is a gateway into the world of Alfred Hitchcock. To the people that are still not convinced to watch this film I can only say the following; you are missing out. Not only did this movie establish the foundation for modern movies, it can also be described as Art. Moreover, one should not consider this film as English, or American, because it stands above all of these notions. It is pure Art which is to be enjoyed by the audience.
|Hume Cronyn||…||(adapted by)|
|Patrick Hamilton||…||(from the play by)|
|Dick Hogan||David Kentley|
|Edith Evanson||Mrs. Wilson|
|Cedric Hardwicke||Mr. Kentley (as Sir Cedric Hardwicke)|
|Constance Collier||Mrs. Atwater|
|James Stewart||Rupert Cadell|
|Rest of cast listed alphabetically:|
|Alfred Hitchcock||Man Walking in Street After Opening Credits (uncredited)|