Rope (1948)

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Rope is a 1948 American psychological crime thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, based on the 1929 play of the same name by Patrick Hamilton and adapted by Hume Cronyn and Arthur Laurents.

The film was produced by Hitchcock and Sidney Bernstein as the first of their Transatlantic Pictures productions. Starring James Stewart, John Dall and Farley Granger, this is the first of Hitchcock's Technicolor films, and is notable for taking place in real time and being edited so as to appear as a single continuous shot through the use of long takes. It is the second of Hitchcock's "limited setting" films, the first being Lifeboat. The original play was said to be inspired by the real-life murder of 14-year-old Bobby Franks in 1924 by University of Chicago students Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb.

Rope included a homosexual subtext between the characters Brandon and Phillip, even though homosexuality was a highly controversial theme for the 1940s. The movie made it past the Production Code censors, however; during the film's production, those involved described homosexuality as "it". However, many towns chose to ban the film independently, memories of Leopold and Loeb still being fresh in some people's minds. Dall was actually homosexual in real life, as was screenwriter Arthur Laurents; even the piano score played by Granger (Mouvement Perpetuel No. 1) was the work of a homosexual composer, Francis Poulenc, while Granger himself was bisexual. More recent reviews and criticism of the film explicitly note its homoerotic subtext.