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spotter52

Comments on "Rope"

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I watched "Rope" last night (which is the 3rd or 4th time I've seen it) and noticed something new. I don't know if anyone else noticed but there was one conventional cut (edit) in a movie that is famous for shooting long continuous takes in an attempt to make the film look like it was done in a single shot. The edit comes during the discussion about strangling the chicken. When Phillip (Farley Grainger) vehemently denies ever strangling a chicken the camera moves in for a closeup on him which is immediately followed with a reaction shot cut to Jimmy Stewart. It's not clear if this is how the movie was originally released or if it was a cut made years later possibly due to missing footage or other technical reasons. Maybe someone has knowledge about this and can comment.

 

And speaking of the shooting style of this movie, most of the transitions to "hide" the edits to me felt forced and unnatural, The camera often moves in an awkward manner to the back of a character which covers the lens allowing for an "invisible" edit. But the pacing feels off. There's too long of a pause before the action resumes. Usually when this technique is used in films its is smoother and continuous. In the case of 'Rope" it draws attention to itself. Otherwise I found the movie to be very compelling and was like watching a stage play.

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One wonders why Hitch didn't just decide to shoot the film as a series of mostly long takes and not go about the business of hiding the cuts.  A movie is not a play, and Hitchcock would know that better than anyone.

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This,  to me, seems to be done for Hitchcock's own amusement   or as a challenge to himself. I'm not certain most audience members would make the connection (or even much care) of filming in long takes, and I agree the cuts seemed forced or artificial, but necessary to accomplish their objective. 

 

It may be fun to interpret these takes from a film historian, filmmaker or actor's point of view, but as an average movie goer it would seem a lost artifact of the movie. Fortunately it is a good story, well acted, so the experimental elements of the film can be overlooked or ignored completely and it still is an enjoyable movie.

 

Also, I must confess I had a hard time remembering the Hitch Cameo in the film (and I've seen the move more than once). I had to look it up  and re-watch the movie a 2nd time to view it myself, a chore I did not really mind doing. ...It is a clever way to do the job.

 

***EDIT****

 

I noticed in the opening credits that the story was developed by Hume Cronyn (actor from Lifeboat and Shadow of a Doubt). I'm wondering if he wanted a part in the movie as well? Was he considered by Hitchcock at all or was the writing credit and story development his only concern?  ...just curious.

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Farley Granger is one of the few big celebrities I've actually met in person. Shook his hand and got his signature. And when I say 'big celebrity' I mean 'big celebrity'. Its startling how tall this guy was; and the size of his enormous face, skull, and hairdo. Felt like shaking hands with one of the costumed characters who walks around DisneyWorld or McDonalds. He towered above everyone in the room.

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44 minutes ago, Sgt_Markoff said:

Farley Granger is one of the few big celebrities I've actually met in person. Shook his hand and got his signature. And when I say 'big celebrity' I mean 'big celebrity'. Its startling how tall this guy was; and the size of his enormous face, skull, and hairdo. Felt like shaking hands with one of the costumed characters who walks around DisneyWorld or McDonalds. He towered above everyone in the room.

According to Wiki,  Granger was 5 9 1\2,  which is my height.    Are you sure you're not talking about Stewart Granger?    (he was 6 3).

 

 

Edited by jamesjazzguitar

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Something's wrong then; maybe Granger was wearing lifts or heels or boots or something because he was a giant in person. His hair too. Huge, almost a bouffon 'do.

Same thing with Christopher Plummer. His hands and even just his facial features--nose, jaw, cheeks, chin, brow--seemed almost comic-book caricature enormous.

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