Thursday, 19 February 2015

Story Telling Film Review - Rope

Rope is a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock starring John Dall and Farley Granger as two young men who have committed murder and organise a party at the scene of the crime.

The film begins with the two men Brandon (John Dall) and Phillip (Farley Granger) committing the murder of friend David (Dick Hogan), whereas Phillip is horrified at what he has done Brandon is exhilirated, he calls it an "art".In his arrogance Brandon hosts a party at the scene of the crime, however Phillip's poor nerve and a certain friend  lead to there downfall.

 Figure 1 - Brandon decides to move the dinner service onto the chest. 

Vincent Canby of the New York Times states; " It swoops and pries about the set, moving from close-ups to long shots to medium shots, with a kind of studied indifference. One high point: While the guests are discussing something of no great moment just off- screen, the camera, catlike, stares at the chest as the maid gets ready to put some books back into it, unaware, of course, that the chest is already fully occupied." (Canby, 1984) in agreement with this quote we can deduce that throughout the film the chest is used as a tool to create suspense and tension, will it be discover or will it not?.

Figure 2 - Rupert questions Phillip 
David M. Keyes of Cinemaphile says "And the most famous of the Hitchcock gimmicks – what I like to refer to as “the incriminating object” – is used to great skill here to further the advancement of necessary revelations (first with the rope being used to tie up a stack of books, and later when Rupert stumbles upon David Kentley’s monogramed hat in the coat closet)" (Keyes, 2014). Furthermore in addition to this Hitchcock repeatedly uses objects with some significance to increase the audiences attention and Brandon's intentions.

Figure 3 - Brandon and Phillip converse

One could say Brandon and Phillip share a close (probably homosexual) relationship, Brandon is the more dominating one with a bigger ego and confidence. Phillip is a more timid character. Phillip tries to hold the secret but his irrational behaviour(perhaps because of drink) causes him to arouse the suspicion of Rupert.

Emanuel Levy of Cinema 24/7 states: "Hitchcock constructed a set that encompassed 35 square miles of skyline, including such landmarks as the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building. The skyline included an ad for Reduco, featuring a before and after silhouette of Hitchcock; a similar gag was also used in a newspaper in “Lifeboat.” (Levy, 2007). through the clever use of this set the scenes of the movie can dramatically change, for instance the backdrop changes depending on the time of day, and the advert sign creates a red flashing colour which intensifies and changes the dynamic of the set.

Vincent Canby, 1984, [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 16th January 2015]

David M. Keyes, 2014 [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 18th January 2015]

Emanual Levy, 2007, [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed on 19th January 2015]

Illustration List
Figure 1 - Alfred Hitchcock, 1948, Rope-pic-1.jpg [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed14th January 2015]

Figure 2 - Alfred Hitchcock, 1948,

Figure 3 - Alfred Hitchcock, 1948, hqdefault.jpg [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 19th January 2015] 


  1. Hi Jamie,

    Please can you title you reviews 'Film Review' when you post them, as if they come up as 'Untitled', I am likely to miss them....
    Don't forget to italicise your quotes, and also the film names. Generally a thoughtful review - maybe you could have discussed Hitchcock's use of the continuous shot as means of immersing the audience in the 'real time' of the it makes the film feel play-like.

  2. Hi Jackie
    ill make sure i do that, for the reviews in the future

  3. Hi Jackie
    ill make sure i do that, for the reviews in the future