Watch Rope

  • PG
  • 1948
  • 1 hr 20 min
  • 7.9  (153,553)
  • 73

Set within the confines of a New York City apartment in the late 1940s, Alfred Hitchcock's 1948 film, Rope, is a masterclass in tension-building and psychological manipulation. Based loosely on the infamous Leopold and Loeb murder case, the film follows two young intellectuals, Brandon Shaw (John Dall) and Phillip Morgan (Farley Granger), who strangle their fellow classmate, David Kentley, to death with a piece of rope. The macabre twist? They do it for kicks, convinced that they are Nietzschean supermen who are above the law.

The film begins with Brandon and Phillip basking in their own smugness. They have just pulled off the "perfect murder" and now want to prove their superiority to the rest of the world. Their plan is to hold a dinner party after the murder, serving food on a chest containing David's corpse. They invite David's friends and mentor, Rupert Cadell (James Stewart), who happens to be a former professor of theirs and a man who once championed the idea of committing the perfect murder as a theoretical exercise. Rupert, much to the boys' delight, is late to the party. As they wait for him, they bask in their deed and flirt with danger by inviting David's fiancée, Janet Walker (Joan Chandler), into the same room as David's body.

As the party progresses and alcohol flows freely, Brandon begins to feel the weight of his crime. He starts to unravel and reveals more and more about his motivations to Rupert, all the while playing a game of intellectual cat-and-mouse with him. Phillip, meanwhile, grows increasingly anxious and paranoid that Rupert will discover their secret, which leads to several intense and suspenseful set-pieces.

The brilliance of Rope lies in its use of long, unbroken takes that create the illusion of real-time. The film unfolds in what appears to be a single continuous shot, with no visible cuts or edits. This technique is a marvel of cinematography, and it creates a sense of claustrophobia and unease that is impossible to shake. It feels as though we, the audience, are guests at the party and are being held hostage by the murderers. We are complicit in their crime, and we feel the weight of their guilt.

James Stewart is brilliant as the cool, collected, and sardonic Rupert Cadell. He brings a sense of moral authority to the film, which is sorely lacking in Brandon and Phillip. His every word drips with a knowing cynicism, and it's impossible to take your eyes off of him. John Dall and Farley Granger, meanwhile, are perfectly cast as the two young men who think they are above the law. Dall is especially effective as Brandon, who slowly unravels over the course of the film. His descent into madness is compelling to watch, and it's impossible to look away.

Despite the fact that the film is over 70 years old, it still feels as fresh and relevant today as it did when it was first released. The themes of arrogance, intellectual superiority, and the danger of unchecked Nietzschean philosophy are timeless. The film also has a subtext about homosexuality that is both daring and controversial for its time. Brandon and Phillip are not explicitly presented as a couple, but their relationship is heavily implied. This was a daring move in 1948, and it adds an extra layer of complexity to the film.

In conclusion, Rope is a masterpiece of suspense and psychological thriller. It was a groundbreaking film when it was released, and it still holds up today. The performances are superb, the cinematography is stunning, and Hitchcock's direction is flawless. If you're a fan of suspenseful films that keep you on the edge of your seat, then Rope is a must-see.

Rope is a 1948 crime movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 20 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.9 and a MetaScore of 73.

Where to Watch Rope
Rope is available to watch, stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Peacock Premium, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Rope for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 20 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.9  (153,553)
  • Metascore