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I admit to this being one of my favorite Hitchcock films.  Yes, it's a bit "stagey" but it's very clever and the cast is incredible.  Ray Milland and John Williams are a total delight to watch, Grace is her normal beauteous self and I happen to really like Robert Cummings' performance.  Plus, it's got some of the greatest lines in any Hitchcock film including:

"People don't commit murder on credit."

"What makes you think I'll agree?  For the same reason that a donkey with a stick behind him and a carrot in front of him always goes forward and not backwards."

"Oh, wait a minute you clot. You can't walk down the street like that.  You'll be arrested." (CI Hubbard to one of his detectives who is about to leave carrying a purse.)

"They talk about flat-footed policemen.  May the saints protected us from the gifted amateur."

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On 3/22/2020 at 5:22 PM, TopBilled said:

With ROPE I remain a bit more engaged

I wonder if it isn't also because of JIMMY STEWART...?  He would exceed BOB CUMMINGS or RAY MILLAND as far as watch-ability. 

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43 minutes ago, Allhallowsday said:

I wonder if it isn't also because of JIMMY STEWART...?  He would exceed BOB CUMMINGS or RAY MILLAND as far as watch-ability. 

Interesting theory. But I actually find Stewart kind of bland in ROPE. Granger and Dall are much more interesting. Plus I think Stewart is kind of upstaged by the character actors-- Cedric Hardwick and Constance Collier. 

Jimmy's role should have been played by a more sexually ambiguous actor. Someone who had a bit more heat and chemistry with the two bad boys. So that while he was trying to help them, he was also kind of getting off on the crime with them. That's really how the movie should have been presented.

My choice for Jimmy's role would have been Gregory Peck, whom I feel is quietly bisexual in most of his movies. Peck would have brought dignity, depth and intelligence to it. But we also would have felt some energy and spark in his scenes with the two attractive killers. That's what this needed, more than Hitch's long-take gimmickry.

By the way I think ROPE is a title better suited to a western. Especially a spaghetti western. It sounds like a movie about a lynching or a hanging. 

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50 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

By the way I think ROPE is a title better suited to a western. Especially a spaghetti western. It sounds like a movie about a lynching or a hanging.

It opens with a sort-of lynching. 

I see your point about JIMMY STEWART, but must confess I generally don't care for BOB CUMMINGS... and I like RAY MILLAND best in those crappy Horror movies he made toward the end of his career. 

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9 hours ago, Allhallowsday said:

It opens with a sort-of lynching. 

I see your point about JIMMY STEWART, but must confess I generally don't care for BOB CUMMINGS... and I like RAY MILLAND best in those crappy Horror movies he made toward the end of his career. 

Cummings works best in light romantic comedy. Milland was quite versatile, and his work as a director was fine too.

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12 hours ago, TopBilled said:

Interesting theory. But I actually find Stewart kind of bland in ROPE. Granger and Dall are much more interesting. Plus I think Stewart is kind of upstaged by the character actors-- Cedric Hardwick and Constance Collier. 

Jimmy's role should have been played by a more sexually ambiguous actor. Someone who had a bit more heat and chemistry with the two bad boys. So that while he was trying to help them, he was also kind of getting off on the crime with them. That's really how the movie should have been presented.

My choice for Jimmy's role would have been Gregory Peck, whom I feel is quietly bisexual in most of his movies. Peck would have brought dignity, depth and intelligence to it. But we also would have felt some energy and spark in his scenes with the two attractive killers. That's what this needed, more than Hitch's long-take gimmickry.

By the way I think ROPE is a title better suited to a western. Especially a spaghetti western. It sounds like a movie about a lynching or a hanging. 

I always thought Clifton Webb would've been the ideal Rupert Cadell.  

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13 hours ago, TopBilled said:

Interesting theory. But I actually find Stewart kind of bland in ROPE. Granger and Dall are much more interesting. Plus I think Stewart is kind of upstaged by the character actors-- Cedric Hardwick and Constance Collier. 

Jimmy's role should have been played by a more sexually ambiguous actor. Someone who had a bit more heat and chemistry with the two bad boys. So that while he was trying to help them, he was also kind of getting off on the crime with them. That's really how the movie should have been presented.

My choice for Jimmy's role would have been Gregory Peck, whom I feel is quietly bisexual in most of his movies. Peck would have brought dignity, depth and intelligence to it. But we also would have felt some energy and spark in his scenes with the two attractive killers. That's what this needed, more than Hitch's long-take gimmickry.

By the way I think ROPE is a title better suited to a western. Especially a spaghetti western. It sounds like a movie about a lynching or a hanging. 

1.   Sexually ambiguous?   Why?  Remember, the movie was directed by ALFRED HITCHCOCK and not GERARD DAMIANO. ANY sexuality, ambiguous or otherwise wasn't really a factor in the story, was it?

2.  I never noticed that about Mr. Peck in any of his movies.  Wonder why that is?

3.   Yep.  If the rope had handles on each end(or not), perhaps a better title would have been GARROTE .    ;) 

Sepiatone

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Rupert Cadell was a homosexual in the play.

And he was more intinimately involved with his former students.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, Ray Banacki said:

Rupert Cadell was a homosexual in the play.

And he was more intinimately involved with his former students.

Thanks Ray. I don't think Sepiatone realized this. And I wondered if Sepiatone's previous comments were homophobic.

Rupert should have been played by an actor who could effectively convey the ambiguity of the character. He has to be trying to help the boys, but also getting drawn into things with them because of his own vulnerability and weakness, part of which includes his own sexuality.

What we have with James Stewart is too sanitized.

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1 hour ago, Sepiatone said:

1.   Sexually ambiguous?   Why?  Remember, the movie was directed by ALFRED HITCHCOCK and not GERARD DAMIANO. ANY sexuality, ambiguous or otherwise wasn't really a factor in the story, was it?

It is suggested in various subtle ways in ROPE that JOHN DALL and FARLEY GRANGER are "bad" which in those days was often done in films by implying homosexuality.   Read: "effete = evil". 

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1 minute ago, Allhallowsday said:

It is suggested in various subtle ways in ROPE that JOHN DALL and FARLEY GRANGER are "bad" which in those days was often done in films by implying homosexuality.   Read: "effete = evil". 

Right. They're based on Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb who were rumored to be lovers. 

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3 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

Right. They're based on Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb who were rumored to be lovers. 

Have you seen any other versions (as a film or even as a play),  of this story?     

I ask because I haven't and I wonder what those that have seen other versions think when they compare the Hitchcock version to any other one.

 

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Just now, Ray Banacki said:

Well, Hitchcock used two homosexual actors as the bad boy students.

Exactly. Hitch cast the roles with those actors for a reason. 

I think he had to use "straight arrow" James Stewart in the other role to appease the production code office. But it would have been better if a quietly bisexual actor had played Cadell. We really needed to see some sort of three way chemistry on screen to get an idea just how the boys could get away with so much. They had to be manipulating Cadell with their sex. Stewart to his credit at least plays the part mostly as an asexual, so we don't get a lot of heterosexuality with him. But it would have been much better if Cadell had been allowed to be more bisexual in this film.

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6 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

Right. They're based on Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb who were rumored to be lovers. 

If you read the book about the trial, they were definitely lovers.

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3 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Have you seen any other versions (as a film or even as a play),  of this story?     

I ask because I haven't and I wonder what those that have seen other versions think when they compare the Hitchcock version to any other one.

I've seen COMPULSION (1959) which is also based on this case. Again, the producers are inhibited by the production code. And much of it is done in the courtroom. But I do think Dean Stockwell and Bradford Dillman play it the way good Method Actors should play it, with sly references to the psycho-sexual relationship between them, which explains the strange undercurrent of their misdeeds.

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8 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Have you seen any other versions (as a film or even as a play),  of this story?     

I ask because I haven't and I wonder what those that have seen other versions think when they compare the Hitchcock version to any other one.

 

As a revival, the play is popular in England.

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8 minutes ago, Ray Banacki said:

As a revival, the play is popular in England.

I'm surprised Hitchcock didn't remake ROPE after the production code was abolished. He could have explored the case's themes more explicitly.

Here's a detailed account of the Leopold & Loeb case:

http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/leoploeb/Accountoftrial.html

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15 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

I'm surprised Hitchcock didn't remake ROPE after the production code was abolished. He could have explored the case's themes more explicitly.

Here's a detailed account of the Leopold & Loeb case:

http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/leoploeb/Accountoftrial.html

The play is ssoon gay - the movies would still be afraid of it.

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