After I had attended a Murder Mystery Weekend, having two days of suspicion, betrayal and violence, It was typical that the film 'Rope' by Hitchcock was on the viewing list for today. Nevertheless, I looked forward to seeing it, even though it would prolong the theme of death of the past few days.
Rope is one of Hitchcock's earlier films, released in 1948 it tells the story of two friends; Philip and Brandon, who murder their friend David (Strangling him with a rope) and store his body in an old ancicent chest in the living room of their house. The film is unique and quite unusual due to the way it was directed. There is very little editing in the film, with the whole piece being filmed on the one camera, never cutting to another angle or shooting away from the action.
This gives the film the atmosphere and pace of a theatre play, the action all takes place in a couple of rooms, alike to that of a stage. The camera moves through the space following conversation as well as focusing on certain important elements of the story. For example, the body was hidden in the chest and when the serving lady was clearing the chest, preparing to open it, the camera lingered on it, even though an important conversation was taking place in the room between characters.
The background of the 'set' was also very impressive, it was a large city skyline which gradually darkened as the day progressed. The overall narrative of the film was very focused and enthralling, with the viewer knowing the secret waiting for the moment when the 'detective-like' character, Rupert revealed he knew. As the plot unravels, the characters reveal they killed their friend David, just because they could, and they felt he was inferior to themselves. Expecting Rupert, their old lecturer, to agree with them had he figured it out. After finding David's killers, Rupert disagreed with their motives and actions, and drew the police.
I really like the film, mainly because it was as involving as a stage-play, with the audience holding on, waiting to see who knew what and how the characters could hide their actions. I'm looking forward to seeing Psycho tommorow, a Hitchcock film which will be entirely different, both in production and plot.