PopHorror Takes A Look Back At Hitchcock’s 1948 Thriller, ‘Rope’

Alfred Hitchcock’s 1948 masterpiece Rope stars James Stewart, Farley Granger, and John Dall. If you haven’t had the chance to catch this thrilling flick, PopHorror is here to tell you why you should check it out. *WARNING SPOILERS* 

Two young men, Philip Morgan (Granger) and Brandon Shaw (Dall), strangle their “inferior” classmate, hide his body in their apartment, and invite his friends and family to a dinner party as a means to challenge the “perfection” of Rope.

Truth Behind The Film

The film is based off of the play ROPE by playwright Robert Hamilton, who received his inspiration from the crimes of Nathan Freudenthal Leopold Jr. and Richard Albert Loeb, two rich students who thought they were on top and could get away with anything. They started off with small crimes and soon moved on to bigger ones, including the murder of a young boy by the name of Bobby Franks. The two young men were eventually caught and tried for murder. On September 10, 1924, Leopold and Loeb were sentenced to life plus 99 years for kidnapping and murder.

Murderers Nathan Freudenthal Leopold Jr. and Richard Albert Loeb


Hitchcock is known for his films and how he shoots them, but the way he shot Rope is quite interesting. He did it in one continuous shot – the action is in real time and never stops. Whenever the director had to change a roll of film, he would zoom in on the back of one of the character’s jackets or a standing pillar and do so. This tactic also manages to mess with your head, mainly because the audience knows that there is a dead body in the room and we are constantly waiting for the guests to find it. But no matter what, we can’t leave the apartment. I’ve never personally seen another film that has done that before, so I find it quite interesting.

The Thrill Ride

When I first watched this film, it was a bit stressful, but in a good way. Whenever one of the party guests got close to where the body was, I would be biting my nails, saying, “Oh my God, it’s right there!” There was a constant dread, but again, in a good way, that they might find the body at any moment. Rope keeps you going till the very end.

Fun Facts

Rope was banned in a number of American cities because of the implied homosexuality of Phillip and Brandon.

Hitchcock said that one of the reasons he agreed to make the film is because of the implied homosexuality.

Hitchcock’s cameo: His profile appears on a neon sign visible through the apartment window approximately 55 minutes into the movie.

The only two characters that never mention David’s name are Mrs. Wilson, and, quite surprisingly, Philip.

This was Hitchcock’s first colored film.

I was unaware of Rope until my high school film teacher showed it to the class,  I’m so happy that he did.

I truly believe that if you are a fan of classic films and Hitchcock films, then you would like this film. Have you already seen it? Let us know in the comments!

About Jazmine Hiller

Just a Canadian girl who loves horror movies and old music. I grew up watching horror with older siblings, and cousins but I really fell in love when I watched Wes Craven's A Nightmare On Elm Street, and I've been in love ever since.

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