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I liked Rope, but not as much as Dial M for Murder. I never picked up on anything gay. It never even crossed my mind. Two college students, one with a twisted sense of humor, try an experiment on their professor. They are pampered rich kids who care nothing about human life, as Stewart later tells them in his rant at the end. Gregory Peck could have played Stewart's part. The character needs to be played by an intellectual actor.

Stewart should have taken partial blame for inciting the murder. Farley Granger got on my nerves for his constant sweating and complaining. And he was the one who strangled the guy! Dall was all talk. The whole premise of the movie is so Hitchcock. I can't imagine any other director making it.

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15 minutes ago, Rudy's Girl said:

I liked Rope, but not as much as Dial M for Murder. I never picked up on anything gay. It never even crossed my mind. Two college students, one with a twisted sense of humor, try an experiment on their professor. They are pampered rich kids who care nothing about human life, as Stewart later tells them in his rant at the end. Gregory Peck could have played Stewart's part. The character needs to be played by an intellectual actor.

Stewart should have taken partial blame for inciting the murder. Farley Granger got on my nerves for his constant sweating and complaining. And he was the one who strangled the guy! Dall was all talk. The whole premise of the movie is so Hitchcock. I can't imagine any other director making it.

Well known for it's two take experiment, I'm no fan of ROPE.  But, I think it's more interesting than DIAL M.  Though she sure is lovely, I have never been a fan of GRACE KELLY except my favorite movie might actually be REAR WINDOW.   That, coupled with my indifference to her choice of BOB CUMMINGS over even evil RAY MILLAND  left me cold; then there's the plot-holes.

A. The scissors must have been damned sharp. 

B.  What an angle to strike a death blow from! 

 

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9 hours ago, txfilmfan said:

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

I think Webb would have been too over the top. As it is he's wildly nutty as Waldo Lydecker in LAURA. I don't think he would have been able to dial it down and he would not have worked well under Hitchcock to curb the amount of "camp" he exudes. 

Plus Webb, at 58, would have been too old in 1948. It needed to be someone who was in their early to mid 30s, at least ten or fifteen years older than the boys but still virile and sexy enough (and masculine enough) to have the boys under his spell, while the boys had him under their spell.

Stewart was 40 when ROPE came out but he still looked a bit younger.

Gregory Peck was 32 in 1948. Perfect age. This is what you commit a murder for if you are a 19 year homosexual crying out for love and attention. This is what you want in bed with you:

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21 minutes ago, Allhallowsday said:

Though she sure is lovely, I have never been a fan of GRACE KELLY except my favorite movie might actually be REAR WINDOW

I have to agree with you there. I love Rear Window! But I've always found Grace Kelly to be a little on the wimpy side, or droopy, much like Marilyn Monroe. Hitchcock liked her because she was beautiful. But so was Tippi Hedren, who I really like, and she wasn't wimpy at all. I just can't see Grace Kelly getting her eyes pecked out by gulls.

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2 hours ago, Rudy's Girl said:

I liked Rope, but not as much as Dial M for Murder. I never picked up on anything gay. It never even crossed my mind. Two college students, one with a twisted sense of humor, try an experiment on their professor. They are pampered rich kids who care nothing about human life, as Stewart later tells them in his rant at the end. Gregory Peck could have played Stewart's part. The character needs to be played by an intellectual actor.

Stewart should have taken partial blame for inciting the murder. Farley Granger got on my nerves for his constant sweating and complaining. And he was the one who strangled the guy! Dall was all talk. The whole premise of the movie is so Hitchcock. I can't imagine any other director making it.

The real life Leopold and Loeb on whom the movie was based, were gay. I think that's where the notion of the film characters being gay really comes from.

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18 minutes ago, Sukhov said:

The real life Leopold and Loeb on whom the movie was based, were gay. I think that's where the notion of the film characters being gay really comes from.

I think it comes from the play that was much more aligned with the actual facts of the case. But in a 1948 Hollywood film they had to be less explicit because of the production code, so the story was watered down. 

Incidentally Loeb was murdered in prison by a man that was supposedly trying to have sex with him. Leopold served 33 years of a 99 year sentence and was paroled. As part of the condition for his parole, he had to find a job and found one as a lab/X-ray technician at a hospital in Puerto Rico. He lived another 13 years and during his time in PR he married a woman. In his autobiography he discussed finding out about Loeb's death.

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21 hours ago, TopBilled said:

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.

I stand by my previous comments that ANYBODY'S sexuality wasn't a factor, minor or major to the basis of the story.  I don't recall any sub-textural  hinting of such.  As far as I gathered, the victim was strangled because Dall and Granger's characters were conceited to the point of thinking themselves so superior to others that they could pull off the "perfect crime".  To them it was a kind of "intellectual experiment".   They had no actual animosity against their victim, he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.  That the movie was based on a play in which the characters were portrayed as clearly being homosexual is probably why it made sense to all involved in the production to cast actors both rumored( in Dall's case) and known to be homosexual and/or bisexual( in Granger's case).   I never try to second guess why Hitchcock did the things he did, nor presume to  think what I could have done better in one of his movies.   

My not believing that anyone's sexuality wasn't a factor in ROPE in NO WAY  was meant to be "homophobic", and I resent the implication.  Any more than my not picking up any "gaydar" vibe about GREGORY PECK's sexuality.   Just as in both the novel and movie did I figure JUDAH BEN-HUR  and MESSALA's  relationship to have homosexual overtones.  But I guess to some, THAT might make me "homophobic".   :rolleyes:  And I also never saw Stewart's character as "sexually ambiguous"  so casting an actor with sexual ambiguity would only make sense if that actor were better than Stewart, which might not have been possible at the time.  ;)  Plus too, I didn't see his character as trying to "help" the boys, but kind of gently "hammering" at them in order to figure out the reason for what he sees as their strange behavior.

Sepiatone

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Getting back to DIAL M...

Another reason this film doesn't work for me is that Grace Kelly is miscast.

Nobody in their right mind would want to kill Grace Kelly. Being married to her is something most straight men would love!

Now if Phyllis Diller had been cast as the wife, and Bob Hope was in the husband role and this was a black comedy, then yeah, I could see the husband plotting to get rid of that kind of wife to run off with Elke Sommer.

Of course it would have to be re-titled DIAL M FOR MY OH MY DID I GET THE RIGHT NUMBER!

But the way it is now, it doesn't make sense to get rid of a perfect wife like Grace Kelly. She's not even a shrew or remotely antagonistic. She has no flaws or faults. And if the idea is to kill her for her money, wouldn't it be better to stay married to the perfect wife and to continue enjoying her body and her money at the same time?

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I agree with that up to a point, but ya gotta remember.....

Grace's character was having an affair with Robert Cummings' mystery writer character, and Milland's plan to kill her was likely for revenge  for the cuckolding and to insure he will still be able to afford his lavish lifestyle because it was HER wealth he married into.   And I don't care HOW gorgeous any woman is-----

"Sloppy seconds" aren't appetizing to any man.  Especially one with self respect and a great deal of pride.   And Milland's character did have a great deal of pride to go along with his greater amount of greed. B)

Sepiatone

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5 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

I stand by my previous comments that ANYBODY'S sexuality wasn't a factor, minor or major to the basis of the story.  I don't recall any sub-textural  hinting of such.  As far as I gathered, the victim was strangled because Dall and Granger's characters were conceited to the point of thinking themselves so superior to others that they could pull off the "perfect crime".

Yes the characters were conceited thinking they were superior to others;    Can one really say that this sense of superiority has nothing to do with their sexuality?     Most of society in this era would label such men as perverted (at best).       I  could see how that might make one over-compensate and make them think;   I'm not perverted,,,,  NO,  I'm superior!

 To me if a film version that made the point that the young killer were gay could be viewed as being homophobic.   I.e. that only gay men would be so deranged to causally kill another young man for an  "intellectual experiment",   as well as thinking their mentor \ favorite teacher would think that this was "cool".      Of course for marketing reason a pre-70s film version would have to sanitize the story line removing any mention of sexuality.

Then we have the casting of the two young killers:    why cast gay \ bi-sexual actors when sexuality now has nothing to do with the plot?      This would be like making a movie about  gangsters but deciding to make them Polish instead of Italian (as to not follow the stereotype of the Italian gangster),   but then casting Al Pacino!

 

 

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22 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Yes the characters were conceited thinking they were superior to others;    Can one really say that this sense of superiority has nothing to do with their sexuality?     Most of society in this era would label such men as perverted (at best).       I  could see how that might make one over-compensate and make them think;   I'm not perverted,,,,  NO,  I'm superior!

 To me if a film version that made a point that the young killer were gay could be view as being homophobic.   I.e. that only gay men would be so deranged to causally kill another young man for an  "intellectual experiment",   as well as think their mentor \ favorite teacher would think that this was "cool".      Of course for marketing reason a pre-70s film version would have to sanitize the story line removing any mention of sexuality.

Then we have the casting of the two young killers:    why cast gay \ bi-sexual actors when sexuality now has nothing to do with the plot?      This would be like making a movie about  gangsters but deciding to make them Polish instead of Italian (as to not follow the stereotype of the Italian gangster),   but then casting Al Pacino!

Thanks. Excellent post. I think Sepiatone was probably not aware of the real-life Leopold & Loeb and their sexuality, which informs the play and also informs Hitchcock's casting for the film. 

In 1948 Jimmy Stewart was still a bachelor. He did not get married until August 1949, when he was 41. Probably some people thought he was gay or bisexual, when other straight men his generation had already been married in their teens, 20s and 30s. So that might have factored into Hitch casting him. Hitch got three single men to play the main roles in ROPE. None of them were in the public eye as being married to women, though Dall had a "beard" (a regular female date, who was platonic) around this time.

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But sexuality HAD nothing to do with the plot.  That the murderers were bi or homosexual didn't play into the motive  nor the murderous character of the perpetrators.  The victim wasn't killed because he was gay, nor was he killed because his killers were gay.   And perhaps(at the time of the filming) it might have been felt that it would be hard to get any straight actors willing to play homosexuals on film, or a stereotypical belief that gay and/or bi actors would play the gay characters more convincingly.  Who knows WHAT they were actually thinking 70 + years ago at their production meetings...  unless there's documented proof of what their process was.  And JAMES...

Let's be mindful of your tenses.   I know you probably meant "Viewed" instead of "view".    :wacko:   But that is beside any pertinent point.  And yes, I AM (and have been) aware of the "real-life" Leopold and Loeb.   And that they too, were gay.  And that the fact of it also had nothing to do with the commission of their crime.

Sepiatone

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26 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

I agree with that up to a point, but ya gotta remember.....

Grace's character was having an affair with Robert Cummings' mystery writer character, and Milland's plan to kill her was likely for revenge  for the cuckolding and to insure he will still be able to afford his lavish lifestyle because it was HER wealth he married into.   And I don't care HOW gorgeous any woman is-----

"Sloppy seconds" aren't appetizing to any man.  Especially one with self respect and a great deal of pride.   And Milland's character did have a great deal of pride to go along with his greater amount of greed. B)

Sepiatone

I still don't buy it. If you have Grace Kelly as your wife and she's had a dalliance, then you'll forgive her. Or take her on a cruise to get her as far away as possible from her boyfriend and work hard to make her fall back in love with you. You do not murder a gorgeous specimen like that. No way. Killing her would not be the first thing that comes to mind. Being a sloppy second as you put it would be better than not being with her at all.

Now if she had been a battle axe and had been constantly undermining the husband's authority in the marriage, or simply was not very attractive and he had a sexier girlfriend, then that would be more of a motive to kill her off. But not the way this story is structured. They just put Grace Kelly into the picture because she was beautiful and Hitchcock liked her. And they thought it would improve what they made at the box office. But she wasn't exactly right for this story.

Even Milland is miscast. He's too old for his role. Looking at the key players, the only person who is not miscast in DIAL M FOR MURDER is John Williams as the inspector.

Milland: already past his prime as a Hollywood lead at 47
Kelly: Too beautiful and perfect for anyone to kill
Cummings: Out of his depth with dramatic roles, more suited to comedy

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15 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

But sexuality HAD nothing to do with the plot.  That the murderers were bi or homosexual didn't play into the motive  nor the murderous character of the perpetrators.  The victim wasn't killed because he was gay, nor was he killed because his killers were gay.   And perhaps(at the time of the filming) it might have been felt that it would be hard to get any straight actors willing to play homosexuals on film, or a stereotypical belief that gay and/or bi actors would play the gay characters more convincingly.  Who knows WHAT they were actually thinking 70 + years ago at their production meetings...  unless there's documented proof of what their process was.  And JAMES...

Let's be mindful of your tenses.   I know you probably meant "Viewed" instead of "view".    :wacko:   But that is beside any pertinent point.

Sepiatone

I think you may be choosing to gloss over or ignore the sexuality angle due to homophobia. It's still there whether you want to acknowledge it or not, because it's part of the real life story the play and film are based upon. But we don't need you to see it, since we can see it without your confirming it.

Nobody said the victim was killed because of his sexuality. But the victim was killed by gay or bisexual men who got a twisted org*asm*ic and org*iast*ic pleasure from killing him together.  Just like a lesbian can be raped, even if she wasn't straight like the man who had attacked her. So it means something when we look at the perpetrator, even if it doesn't mean the same thing when we look at the victim.

I don't buy your trying to use the "70 years ago" argument. It doesn't matter if the film was made 70 years ago or 7 minutes ago. It would still be based on the same case. And homosexuality was a fact of life in 1924 when the original murder was committed by Leopold & Loeb.

Not sure where you're going with a lecture on grammar but my guess is that it's a last resort to try and win an "argument" that you are probably still not winning. LOL 

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You seem to be upset that a fictional character in a fictional movie that plays out a fictional premise in a fictional fashion doesn't think with your mindset.  It does no good to put how YOU might behave in a situation that you'll probably never encounter  as how it should be portrayed in any movie. Unless of course, you're writing the screenplay.  And too, that there's the slightest possibility that murderers will take the time to think things out rationally,   which is never a factor in why murderers do what they do.

Sepiatone

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1 minute ago, Sepiatone said:

You seem to be upset that a fictional character in a fictional movie that plays out a fictional premise in a fictional fashion doesn't think with your mindset.  It does no good to put how YOU might behave in a situation that you'll probably never encounter  as how it should be portrayed in any movie. Unless of course, you're writing the screenplay.  And too, that there's the slightest possibility that murderers will take the time to think things out rationally,   which is never a factor in why murderers do what they do.

Sepiatone

I have no reason to be upset. I already suggested earlier in the thread that I consider both DIAL M and ROPE to be too stage bound for my liking. They do not quite rank up there for me like TO CATCH A THIEF and NORTH BY NORTHWEST do in the Hitchcock canon. Meaning I do not have a huge interest or personal stake in what plays out on screen in these motion pictures. But I do think you might lack understanding of the real-life Leopold & Loeb case or that you are simply too frightened to have a legitimate discussion of LGBTQIA issues in American movies.

To say that the way these murderers could behave on screen might be how I would behave is both ridiculous and funny. I guess we'll just have to let that slide, for now. :) 

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My mention of grammar was to try to deflect things away from what you mistakenly see as a "homophobic" rant.

But, "rant" it isn't, nor "homophobic" either.  My not seeing any sexuality as a factor in the movie ROPE isn't "homophobia"  any more than your refusal to accept my point of view about it is "heterophobic".  (if such a term exists, which it should, to be fair).  I also found the movie to be boring, which I guess makes me  "crimesuspensephobic"  ;) 

Sepiatone

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1 minute ago, TopBilled said:

I have no reason to be upset. I already suggested earlier in the thread that I consider both DIAL M and ROPE to be too stage bound for my liking. They do not quite rank up there for me like TO CATCH A THIEF and NORTH BY NORTHWEST do in the Hitchcock canon. Meaning I do not have a huge interest or personal stake in what plays out on screen in these motion pictures. But I do think you might lack understanding of the real-life Leopold & Loeb case or that you are simply too frightened to have a legitimate discussion of LGBTQIA issues in American movies.

To say that the way these murderers could behave on screen might be how I would behave is both ridiculous and funny. I guess we'll just have to let that slide, for now. :) 

By that I was more alluding to your comments about "Dial M" and the opinion about murdering someone as gorgeous as Grace Kelly.  :) 

Sepiatone

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Just now, Sepiatone said:

My mention of grammar was to try to deflect things away from what you mistakenly see as a "homophobic" rant.

But, "rant" it isn't, nor "homophobic" either.  My not seeing any sexuality as a factor in the movie ROPE isn't "homophobia"  any more than your refusal to accept my point of view about it is "heterophobic".  (if such a term exists, which it should, to be fair).  I also found the movie to be boring, which I guess makes me  "crimesuspensephobic"  ;) 

Sepiatone

Your mention of grammar seemed out of place. I am sure that I am allowed one grammar mistake somewhere along the line. LOL But it was probably because I was typing too quickly and just left off some letters, then didn't proofread.  

Now you are trying to bring up other phobias to deflect from a legitimate discussion of LGBTQIA issues and LGBTQIA themes in Hitchcock films..?

Again you don't have to see sexuality as a motivator in the killing depicted in ROPE. But many others do. They also see sexuality as a motivator in why Norman Bates dresses up as his mother when he walks in on a sexy woman taking a shower in PSYCHO. I don't know...maybe you think Norman was straight or that Anthony Perkins was straight?

Hitchcock cast a lot of bisexuals and homosexuals in his movies. These performers brought something to the screen that could not be explicitly stated in dialogue or specifically detailed in the action of a story due to the production code. They gave the characters an extra dimension that Hitchcock wanted.

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12 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

By that I was more alluding to your comments about "Dial M" and the opinion about murdering someone as gorgeous as Grace Kelly.  

Sepiatone

I wouldn't kill anyone as gorgeous as Grace Kelly. And I don't know anyone else who would either.

 

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I  thought SIMON OAKLAND as the psychiatrist in PSYCHO explained all that at the end of the movie, and that Norman's sexuality had nothing to do with it.

What I was "trying to accomplish" with the Grace Kelly thing was to get across to you that how YOU would behave in a given situation HAS NO BEARING in how OTHERS might behave in that situation , and in this case, a situation that's FICTIONAL.  

That YOU wouldn't kill anyone as gorgeous as Grace Kelly doesn't mean there's NOBODY that would.   And I don't know anyone that would either, far as I know.  And certainly hope I DON'T!  And if you're going to bring up others---("others do")  Remember I brought up the sexuality perceptions of BEN-HUR---

OTHERS tried to claim that Ben-Hur and Messala had a homosexual relationship.  But it was never clearly nor intentionally implied in both novel and movie.   People see what they want I guess.  and those that DON'T see what the FORMER do see  probably either aren't looking for it, or don't consider it important.   Oh, and my grammar remarks were meant for JAMES, and with no serious intent either.   Seems as if some aren't careful of their behavior, nexttime they pass gas the sound might be so HIGH PITCHED as to shatter glass.  ;)

Sepiatone

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COMING UP NEXT ON MOST OF THESE TCM stations:

DIAL "S" for Switch-Hitter

DIAL "B" for Bi-Sexual (Sometimes you feel like a nut and sometimes you don't . . . ).  [ADVERTISEMENT FOR "MOUNDS" and "ALMOND JOY"!]

DIAL "W" for "Whack-The-Hot-Wife-and-take-her-$dough$-Because-I'm-A-Greedy-Creep-Of-A-Husband"

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It occurs to me that the basic plot for DIAL M FOR MURDER is not only done much better in David Miller's SUDDEN FEAR but also previously in Robert Siodmak's THE SUSPECT (1944).

Screen Shot 2018-04-04 at 12.43.57 PM.jpg

In THE SUSPECT we have Charles Laughton playing a hen-pecked husband whose shrew of a wife (Rosalind Ivan) is killed by him during a vicious quarrel. He has already been falling in love with a lovely young thing played by Ella Raines. So after the wife "accidentally" dies, he sees this as a perfect chance to use the money he's inherited, to marry Raines and take off on a round the world cruise so the police can't catch up with him.

It is believable that Laughton's character wants rid of the old bat, and there is much more to gain by offing her. Mainly so that he can pair up with Raines. But if Hitchcock had been in charge, he might have put pretty Raines in the role of the imperiled wife, which would not work for this kind of story.

Screen Shot 2018-04-04 at 12.36.36 PM.jpg

Anyway there are sometimes better ways to tell a Hitchcock story and certainly people besides Hitchcock have done it. People like Miller and Siodmak. But I think we're often caught up in this mentality that Hitchcock was the master, when sometimes Hitch's instincts didn't quite succeed with material that was executed better by other directors.

Screen Shot 2018-03-31 at 1.36.03 PM.jpg

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