Monday, 13 February 2017

“Rope” (1948)

Fig.1 "Rope" Poster

“Rope” is an American thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock in 1948. Nevertheless, the film is based on real life murder, which took place back in the 1920’s. The real-life story of the Leopold and Loeb case was turned into a play by Patrick Hamilton, but later the story of murdered boy was adapted in Alfred’s Hitchcock’s film. As Vincent Canby describes in his review:  „Hitchcock was interested in seeing whether he could find a cinematic equivalent to the play, which takes place in the actual length of time of the story” (Canby, 1984).  As Hitchcock was experimenting with his films at that time, the “Rope” came out to be one of his successful films.

Fig. 2

From the very beginning till the end audience is put instantly into the film scenery. The camera becomes one of the key elements in Hitchcock’s film. The camera adapts smooth movements, letting the viewer experience film as a witness in the action of the film. As Bosley Crowther explains in his review: “His camera stands back and takes them in, singles them out on occasion and even moves in now and then for close looks." (Crowther, 1948)

Moreover, the manipulation in the scenery with the camera brings out nice suspense, which leads from one act to another without any cut in-between. As Hitchcock explains his technique “Ticking Bomb” or just “Bomb” -  Instead of giving 15 seconds of unexpected surprise at the moment of explosion, he provides 15 minutes of suspense which leads to the explosion. This technique not only add suspension to the film, but also in additional it gives tension to the act itself. Making viewer shake in their seats and warn the characters on the screen before something destructive going to happen.
Fig. 3 Background

Furthermore, in the background audience can see New York City’s skyscrapers. This background adds the busy feeling of a city. Also, Hitchcock links up his background with time lapse, as the film progresses from morning till night the back also ground changes.  Not only it shows how time passes by fast, but it leads to the mystery solving when it gets dark. Hitchcock’s action to have such background wasn’t only to show the beauty of New York skyscrapers, but the colours were symbolizing the mood in the film. And as it got dark, the scene got more intriguing as the Stewart was coming close to the mystery solving.

In conclusion, “Rope” has amazing set, which swirling mood, and hidden secret, which audience witnessed at the beginning of the film. As Roger Ebert describes this film in his review: "Rope remains one of the most interesting experiments ever attempted by a major director working with big box-office names" (Ebert, 1984). Although this film has lack of action and different angle shots, the “Rope” still stays one of the best Hitchcock’s experiments.
Candy, V. (1984) "Rope": A Stunt to Behold review. At: (Accessed on 12/02/2017)
Crowther, B. (1948) "Rope": An Exercise in Suspense Directed by Alfred Hitchcock review. At: (Accessed on 12/02/2017)
Ebert, R. (1984) "Rope" review. At:
(Accessed on 12/02/2017)

Illustration List:
Fig. 1 "Rope"
Poster At:
(Accessed on 12/02/2017)
Fig. 2
(Accessed on 12/02/2017)
Fig. 3 Background
(film still) From: "Rope" Directed by:
Alfred Hitchcock Released: New York City At:
(Accessed on 12/02/2017)


  1. Make sure you proofread before posting, Karolina... you have 'New Your scrappers' instead of 'New York scrapers' :)

    Sounds as though you enjoyed this film! :)

    1. Oh, sorry about that, I didn't notice at all!
      And yes, I did like the film :)