Sunday, September 23, 2007

"Murder should be an art"

Filmmaking can be an art, especially when the film is Alfred Hitchcock's "ROPE."
I watched it tonight.
Farley Granger and John Dall play roommates (domestic partners, probably) who think they have planned and executed the perfect murder.
Too bad James Stewart figures out their scheme.
Dall, who played the manipulated Bart in Joseph H. Lewis' "Gun Crazy," is one of my favorite actors. He plays the manipulating Brandon in "Rope" -- a man who thinks his intellectual standing permits him to get away with anything, including the murder of school friend David Kentley.
"The good Americans usually die young on the battlefield, don't they?" Brandon asks Granger's Phillip. "Well, the Davids of this world merely occupy space, which is why he was the perfect victim for the perfect murder."
Hitchcock shot "Rope" to make it appear as if there were no cuts (the five or so cuts were disguised), so that it looked like one continuous scene during the course of the 90 or so minutes.
The plot requires a slowly building tension, and the seemingly continuous tracking shots help to create the tension that is only released at the film's end. Great stuff.


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