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As Alfred Hitchcock's 1948 thriller ROPE opens, two young men in their 20's are strangling one of their former classmates and he is taking his last gasps.

Brandon (John Dall) and Philip (Farley Granger) share a New York apartment and unbridled arrogance. Killing their friend David is more of a social experiment that a crime of passion.

Brandon is thrilled by the murder and in daring fashion, places David's body in a chest of drawers and places a fancy dinner on top of it, inviting David's fiance and parents to a dinner party that very evening.

As Brandon's twisted confidence grows, Philip's nerve crumbles and their ruse threatens to become unraveled.

Jimmy Stewart stars as Rupert Caldwell, the guys former professor who knows them both all too well and begins to see ticks and tells that lead him from a mild questioning to a deep analysis of what's really happening at this dinner.

Hitchcock has some fun with the filming of the stage play like story, shooting in unbroken 11 minute takes throughout.

You can see the camera tricks that separate the segments, but only enough to admire Hitch's unique style in 1948!

There are definitely gay undertones between Brandon and Philip and I read in Hitch's biography after seeing the film that the film was banned in 20 states due to those undercurrents.

That's pretty shocking based on how mild the undertones are!

Granger is good, Dale is better and better the cockier he gets and Stewart has some fun trying to unwrap the mystery moment by moment.

Inspired by the real-life murder of a 14 year old in 1924 by University of Chicago students Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, ROPE crafts a mystery intertwined with a character study.

At only 80 minutes long, its fast and clever and one of Hitchcock's more obscure films.

This taut ROPE gets a B.

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