morality in movies · progression of guilt · Uncategorized

Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rope”

This film is about two friends Brandon and Phillip who kill their friend David by strangling him with a rope and dispose of his body in a trunk in their apartment in New York City. After murdering their friend, Brandon and Phillip enjoy some champagne together and discuss their perfect murder. Although Phillip is uneasy, Brandon seams to believe the superiority of their crime. They then get prepared for their planned dinner party with David’s parents, Janet who is supposedly dating David, and two other mutual friends, Kenneth and Rupert. Brandon and Phillip direct their housekeeper, Mrs. Wilson, to set up the dinner on the chest, which the dead body of David is laying in. Mrs. Wilson without her knowledge of what is inside sets up for the dinner party. Brandon becomes exhilarated by this thrill while Phillip becomes noticeably more nervous even breaking his glass. The plot thickens when one of the guests, Rupert, becomes seemingly more intrigued in the missing guest, David. Phillip still struggling with the guilt from the murder comes close to revealing their secret and becomes more nervous as the plot goes on. Rupert inches closer to what the two men have done with David…

Screen Shot 2017-01-25 at 10.17.43 PM.png2.This movie is a thriller and suspense. I feel as if these two categories are interchangeable but Hitchcock uses this approach to instill a suspenseful feeling in his audience. The audience knows David is dead but questions whether or not the two men will be revealed and punished.

3.The purpose of the story was to show how no one man has the power to take another man’s life away. Constantly throughout the movie Brandon was trying to prove to everyone else that he was superior. When Rupert discovered the murder he lectured this same point saying Brandon and Phillip had no right to feel superior to David because no man has this ability. Phillip, having feelings of guilt, even revealed his true feelings at the end saying to Brandon “You wanted someone to know how smart you are Brandon.” Basically pointed out the fact that Brandon constantly dropped hints during the dinner party that revealed the murder like tying up the boo
s with the rope used to kill David. This shows the same theme of men are not superior enough to each other to take away the lives of other.

Screen Shot 2017-01-25 at 10.18.19 PM.png
4. I think the characters of the story are more important than the story itself. I say this because knowing Alfred Hitchcock’s tendencies when producing movies, he usually killed off the main character in the first five minutes of his movies. This is so unlike other filmmakers. The whole story was about the murder of David and although the audience knew he was dead, the attendees of the dinner party did not know. The characters and their personalities provided so much insight and meaning to this film. The fact that the film was shot on one reel in one living room goes to show that the storyline was inferior to the characters actually playing it.

5.Hitchcock focused on style right off the bat with the fact that it was shot on one reel. I think this drove the suspense because the entire audience knows there is a dead body in the trunk they are all eating off! The emotional side was portrayed in the character of Phillip as his guilt and pain was clearly evident by the end of the movie. The conversation at dinner about murder and the superiority of men pulled in a moral issue of murder.

6.The most important character conflict was shown through Man vs. Society. Brandon was so worried with being known as the best and having the “perfect” murder and didn’t care he physically took away a man’s life. Society played a part in entitling these men who had no concern with this David’s life.

7.The weakest point of the film to me was all the hints Brandon dropped during the dinner. I think these hints were too obvious and I wish everything were a little subtler. The strongest point of the film was showing the emotion difference in Phillip and the progression of his guilt. You could even see Phillip’s guilt increase with the speed in which he was playing the piano. I thought that was extremely effective.

8.The film succeeds because of its unique “one-reel” shot style and the moral issues he presents. This film didn’t necessary scare me but it did challenge me to think of the idea of murder and the right people think they are entitled to when they take someone else’s life.

Screen Shot 2017-01-25 at 10.19.38 PM.png9.I really enjoyed the Rope; I thought it was different because the murder occurred within the first five minutes. In suspense movies now, you wait the entire movie and then the crime usually happens in the climax of the plot. With this movie, it occurred in the beginning which made the audience think more of the issues surrounding why the killers did this rather than think about the man who was murdered himself.

 

 

Links:

http://www.openculture.com/2013/11/the-10-hidden-cuts-in-rope.html

 

http://www.screeninsults.com/rope.php

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