19. Rope (1948) Movie Review: Smug Assholes, it turns out, are universal

What does the perfect murder look like? The victim deserves it, the murderer is just, and no one gets caught. Turns out if you've got enough education you can justify any of those points.

    Brandon (Dall) and Philip (Granger) have strangled their friend David to death. Believing themselves to be above reproach of the law and David's friends and family, the two then throw a party with David's body stuffed in a chest they use as a buffet table. As the party goes on, their old schoolmaster Rupert (Stewart) becomes suspicious.

    I won't say everything everyone else says about this movie. Alfred Hitchcock's grand experiment in long shots, the film composed of ten long shots with a few edits, Rope is a novelty of a movie. I won't mention how the homosexual undertones inform on the rather problematic motives of the upper crust privilege. I won't even say how the plot was based on a stage play and was based on the real life Leopold and Loeb murder. Not going to say any of that.

    Not Jimmy Stewart's favorite of his work with Hitchcock, the movie holds up as both a cultural artifact and a damn good movie. It's a masterclass in blocking and small space acting. You have no choice but to rent this or do what I did and get if from the library.