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Rope


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It's easily one of my favorite Hitchcock films, probably tied with Dial M For Murder and Blackmail.

 

I've always thought that some of the most suspenseful films are the ones set in a small location, like in a house (preferably in some isolated location), or an apartment, or hotel, or something. The cat-and-mouse chases like the one in North by Northwest doesn't do anything for me.

 

By the way, did anyone else sense that the two killers in Rope might have been gay lovers as well? There are strong hints of this in the movie. However, I didn't sense that James Stewart was portraying a gay man.

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Although the movie did have a homosexual subtext, it was between the two murderers and NOT James Stewart.

 

So, what time was it on?  I had no idea it was, and spent nearly two hours watching BLACK AND WHITE NIGHT: ROY ORBISON AND FRIENDS, the 30th anniversay "remastered" version of the concert on PBS.

 

I've seen ROPE many times before, and though I think it's good, it's not one of my favorite Hitch flicks.

 

 

Sepiatone

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Although the movie did have a homosexual subtext, it was between the two murderers and NOT James Stewart.

 

 

 

I heard that James Stewart refused to play a gay character in this film. I don't know if there's any truth to that, or if his character was written as a straight man from the start. It wasn't necessary for Rupert (Stewart) to be gay, but it might have been interesting.

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Although the movie did have a homosexual subtext, it was between the two murderers and NOT James Stewart.

 

So, what time was it on?  I had no idea it was, and spent nearly two hours watching BLACK AND WHITE NIGHT: ROY ORBISON AND FRIENDS, the 30th anniversay "remastered" version of the concert on PBS.

 

I've seen ROPE many times before, and though I think it's good, it's not one of my favorite Hitch flicks.

 

 

Sepiatone

 

The homosexual subtext was ALSO between the two murders and their Teacher (Stewart).    A major reason for the murder was to impress their teacher.    One has to have some very strong 'bonding' to take the student \ teacher level to that degree.

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The homosexual subtext was ALSO between the two murders and their Teacher (Stewart).    A major reason for the murder was to impress their teacher.    One has to have some very strong 'bonding' to take the student \ teacher level to that degree.

 

Those two killers might have had feelings for him, but it doesn't mean that the feelings were reciprocated. Their former teacher just didn't relate to them that way. I think it surprised both of them in the end, especially Brandon the ringleader.

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I love ROPE, mostly because of the SETS. (I'm kind of a freak about sets).

I love the wonderful actress (Edith Evanson) who plays the maid.

She was also terrific in ACE IN THE HOLE.

 

The sets were very nice!

 

All the actors were perfectly cast, in my opinion.

 

I've heard complaints about James Stewart being miscast, but I disagree. He did a great job, in my opinion.

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In Truffaut's book of conversations with Hitchcock, he just talked about the technical challenges of the film, not the story...it was his first color film, and the last five reels had to be re-shot because the sunset was too orange.  The floors were specially built to enable the walls to swing silently on rails when they changed rooms and the furniture was on rollers.  When you see the camera zoom on an object, or someone walks in front of the camera..that's when they were changing cameras without interrupting the flow.  Hitchcock clearly loved 'the process'.

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I love Rope! It's been one of my favorite Hitchcock movies for a long time. Everyone in it gives a really good, solid performance. I think John Dall was especially great in this, but he's been pretty good in everything I've seen him in.

 

I've always gotten the impression that the two young men were gay. As Shutoo stated, Hitchcock and Truffaut just discussed the technical aspects, a bit to my disappointment. Not that I didn't love reading about the technical aspects of shooting the movie, which is very interesting, given the film was shot in a very difficult, experimental style, it's just that the plot of the movie itself is so interesting that I would've loved to hear Hitchcock talk about it in more depth. But yeah, I do think Dall and Granger's characters are gay in the film. James Stewart's character, I'm really not sure about.

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I heard that James Stewart refused to play a gay character in this film. I don't know if there's any truth to that, or if his character was written as a straight man from the start. It wasn't necessary for Rupert (Stewart) to be gay, but it might have been interesting.

 

The "elitist" student killers were based on the Leopold & Loeb case, who were suspected to have a university-rich-kid relationship (not that it could be mentioned in 1948), hence the interpretations, but Jimmy?  I don't even know where they're GETTING that.  :wacko:

Sounds like thirdhand telephone-game mutations of other discussions on the movie.

 

jamesjazzguitar 

The homosexual subtext was ALSO between the two murders and their Teacher (Stewart).    A major reason for the murder was to impress their teacher.    One has to have some very strong 'bonding' to take the student \ teacher level to that degree.

 

L&L were reportedly trying to indulge Nietzschean philosophy, which explains why the two movie teachers-pets deliberately want to impress Stewart's jolly watered-down Nieztschism-a-la-Hitchcock jokes about recreational murder for social improvement.

 

The "You were supposed to understand!" angle isn't exactly stable, but it's looking more for official validation of their actions, in the hopes that Stewart would academically rubber-stamp their extra-curricular activities for extra credit, and work to get them off scot-free.

Pretty easy for the movie not to spin some kind of "attraction", since it probably wasn't there.

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The homosexual subtext was ALSO between the two murders and their Teacher (Stewart).    A major reason for the murder was to impress their teacher.    One has to have some very strong 'bonding' to take the student \ teacher level to that degree.

 

Or maybe just a strong admiration.

 

I know a guy who GUSHES about one of the professors he had in college, but NEITHER ONE is gay.

 

 

Sepiatone

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it's just a great, great movie. like everything about it. I have never gotten any overt sense of gayness from the players. I look at Brandon as just an arrogant elitist who likes to have menial Philip under his thumb. he's got a full-time toadie to do what he wants like pull the cork outta wine bottles.

 

love the visuals around that picture window. I wonder if it was an actual metal framework.

 

I think they both woulda been more calmer if the lock had worked, especially nervous philip.

 

plus perhaps they shouldn't have been so anxious to move the body after the party was over. 

 

maybe put david in the bathtub for a bit.

 

but seriously, if brandon knew that rupert was suspicious, it was a dead giveaway to rush over to the chest like that that to prevent mrs. wilson from opening it up, :lol:

 

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Did anyone else think that they showed too much of the murder at the beginning? I always thought that maybe David's scream could have been heard, and then the audience could see the tail end of David being put into the trunk. Maybe just a hand sticking out and one of the killers would be dealing with the hand or something...

 

I think that this would have been creepier.

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About plot stuff-

It's really hard to judge this film now-since we're not sure what form it was in when it was first screened.

I just have a feeling that the actual "murder" was not shown in the Cinema.

 

The REALLY interesting detail (and it might not have been shown in the Cinema at the time) is the "trailer" showing the murder victim and his girlfriend in the PARK, just before the movie begins.

 

Hitchcock experts might tell us if these were shown at the time the movie was released in the USA?

 

and, about Jimmy Stewart's objections to playing a GAY character:

 

First, he is IMHO, just about the most sex-less "star" that ever worked in Hollywood. Not IRL, but in his film roles---he was always Mr. Pure.

If he had tried to play his character GAY, I don't think he could have.

 

Second, Jimmy Stewart LOVED working for Hitchcock. He begged to be the star of NORTH BY NORTHWEST, and any other Hitchcock film possible. I think all that mattered to him was being in a Hitchcock film.

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About plot stuff-

It's really hard to judge this film now-since we're not sure what form it was in when it was first screened.

I just have a feeling that the actual "murder" was not shown in the Cinema.

 

The REALLY interesting detail (and it might not have been shown in the Cinema at the time) is the "trailer" showing the murder victim and his girlfriend in the PARK, just before the movie begins.

 

First, he is IMHO, just about the most sex-less "star" that ever worked in Hollywood. Not IRL, but in his film roles---he was always Mr. Pure.

If he had tried to play his character GAY, I don't think he could have.

 

Second, Jimmy Stewart LOVED working for Hitchcock. He begged to be the star of NORTH BY NORTHWEST, and any other Hitchcock film possible. I think all that mattered to him was being in a Hitchcock film.

 

If you've ever heard Eddie Murphy's classic routine of Ralph Kramden & Ed Norton as a gay couple, it's easy to try and imagine how badly good ol' Midwest brass-tacks Jimmy Stewart could play a "gay" character.  

("Oh, you're, you're the 'pizza boy'?  Well, y'know, I-I'm fond of a good pepperoni myself--Why don'tcha just, y'know, take that, that shirt off and just sorta...throw it on the bed, there, doesn't look like we'll be needing it for a while, I think...")

I'm sure Dana Carvey could have done a good 80's SNL sketch, but he was too busy with the "poetry" jokes from Stewart's Johnny Carson appearances.

 

And sounds like any exterior shots to try and break the "claustrophobia" were helpful studio interference cut by Hitchcock at the last minute.

Both Rope's one-take and Dial M for Murder's 3D were experiments in trying to put the audience directly into the "onstage" tension of a popular mystery stage play along with the actors.  The play likely opened with the murder, since the victim was deliberately a nonentity, and there was no need to create audience identification for him.

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I heard that James Stewart refused to play a gay character in this film. I don't know if there's any truth to that, or if his character was written as a straight man from the start. It wasn't necessary for Rupert (Stewart) to be gay, but it might have been interesting.

His character was gay in the original play by Patrick Hamilton.

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The fact that Brandon and Philip were played by two gay actors - John Dall and Farley Granger - added the gay subtext to the film that Hitchcock wasn't able to embrace openly.

 

Also, the fact that Rupert is gay in the play itself only adds intriguing subtext to the "seemingly non-gay performance" from James Stewart.

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His character was gay in the original play by Patrick Hamilton.

 

Correct.  Also the character (the one Stewart played in the movie),  was 29 years old and not 40 something.

 

This lesser age difference makes a difference in the relationship between the 'boys' and this character IMO.

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Correct.  Also the character (the one Stewart played in the movie),  was 29 years old and not 40 something.

 

This lesser age difference makes a difference in the relationship between the 'boys' and this character IMO.

 

It was easier to follow the plot, though, since James Stewart was obviously OLDER.

He could afford, now, to be accepting of other people.

He's not the guy he was in 'prep-school' days, holding court with the teenagers during long night 'bull-sessions' about the meaning of life.

They were in the fantasy world of the private school, trying out ideas, not in the real world of proper social relationships among adults.

Easy for James Stewart to wriggle out of those "high and mighty" theories in the cold world of adulthood, that the 2 perps just haven't realized they must enter.

Theories are proper for school work, but not for daily life.

The two "perps" just don't want to enter daily life.

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The fact that Brandon and Philip were played by two gay actors - John Dall and Farley Granger - added the gay subtext to the film that Hitchcock wasn't able to embrace openly.

 

Also, the fact that Rupert is gay in the play itself only adds intriguing subtext to the "seemingly non-gay performance" from James Stewart.

 

I think it would have been interesting to see James Stewart play a character who is most definitely gay. I heard he didn't want to do it, but it might have been an interesting acting challenge for him. A lost opportunity, for sure.

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It was easier to follow the plot, though, since James Stewart was obviously OLDER.

He could afford, now, to be accepting of other people.

He's not the guy he was in 'prep-school' days, holding court with the teenagers during long night 'bull-sessions' about the meaning of life.

They were in the fantasy world of the private school, trying out ideas, not in the real world of proper social relationships among adults.

Easy for James Stewart to wriggle out of those "high and mighty" theories in the cold world of adulthood, that the 2 perps just haven't realized they must enter.

Theories are proper for school work, but not for daily life.

The two "perps" just don't want to enter daily life.

 

I agree that the changes made by screenwriter Hume Cronyn and Arthur Laurents were solid and likely made it easier to follow the plot (but since I have never seen the original play I can't really compare). 

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I imagine Hitchcock and the writers had to tone down suggestions of homosexuality to get ROPE past the censors, so the interaction between the two lead characters is subtle but viewers can pick up on it (or not).  Rupert's sexuality is irrelevant; I never saw his character as gay or straight - he's a teacher spouting theories that these young men revered and took to heart.  (I've never read or seen the original play.)

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