By: Alex Phuong (A Toast) –
Thrillers have excited audiences ever since the inception of cinema. Famous examples include the 1931 version of Frankenstein, which had Boris Karloff send chills down the spines of viewers. Using this knowledge, Alfred Hitchcock continuously crafted suspenseful motion pictures that have stood the test of time while also influencing up and coming filmmakers. Rope (1948) is much more than an adaptation of Patrick Hamilton’s play because it manages to create a lot of emotional tension even though it is merely 80 minutes long.
One of the greatest features of this film is the cinematography. It is actually very similar to the camera techniques employed in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), which earned Emmanuel Lubezki his second consecutive Academy Award for “Best Cinematography.” Another part of the thrilling nature of this film is the great usage of dramatic irony, a literary concept in which the audience knows more than the characters do on-screen. The lack of knowledge that the characters have prompts viewers to wonder about whether or not the secrets will be revealed. The emotional tension is definitely there, but that and great acting from the entire cast, including Hitchock favorite Jimmy Stewart, makes this film a classic along with its innovative camera movements.
Rope might not be a well-known play, and its film version might have not received major awards recognition, but it is still a great film nevertheless. It is certain that film students study this film in order to understand how to create great shots using nothing more than a simple camera. The camera movements actually are very simple, but it flows like eloquent writing. Therefore, Rope is a great example of artistic merit that contains all of the elements of a typical Hitchcock thriller that made him one of the most famous and respected directors of all time.
Rope (1948) Drinking Game
Take a Drink: whenever Philip plays the piano
Take a Drink: whenever the characters drink and/or smoke
Drink a Shot: whenever rope appears on screen