This week's podcast is absolute murder, as The Unenthusiastic Critic enjoys her first viewing of Alfred Hitchcock's Rope (1948), starring Jimmy Stewart, John Dall, and Farley Granger.
First, we're talking about murder, in a somewhat macabre conversation about body disposal, serial killing, and which zodiac signs are naturally predisposed to homicide. Along the way we're talking about Leopold and Loeb—the real-life inspirations for Hitchcock's thrill-seeking intellectuals—and we're learning what (besides doing this podcast) could potentially drive Nakea to commit murder.
Then, we're sitting down for The Unenthusiastic Critic's first viewing of Hitchcock's experimental classic about a diabolical dinner party in which the guest of honor is concealed beneath the buffet. Meticulously filmed to appear as one long, unbroken shot—long before the invention of Steadicams and digital film—Rope is a bravura exercise in technical precision and restrained tension from the master of suspense.
But will The Unenthusiastic Critic enjoy the party?
0:00: Prologue: from Rope
1:00: Preliminary Conversation: Murder
15:58: Musical Interlude: "Murder, He Says," by Betty Hutton
17:16: Cultural Osmosis: Pre-Viewing Discussion
32:15: Interlude: Original Trailer
34:29: The Verdict: Post-Viewing Discussion
1:19:53: Outro and Next Week's Movie
Notes and Links
—Movie Reviewed: Rope (dir. Alfred Hitchock, Warner Bros, 1948)|
—Musical Interlude: Betty Hutton sings "Murder, He Says," from Armed Forces Radio's Command Performance.
—Links and Resources: "Reopening the Case Files of Leopold and Loeb," Jeremy Lybarger, Paris Review; "Leopold and Loeb's Criminal Minds," Simon Baatz, Smithsonian Magazine; "Clarence Darrow: Plea for Leopold and Loeb," Voices of Democracy; "Provocative, pensive and splendidly acted, Hitchcock’s ‘Rope’ is a heck of a film," Cinephilia & Beyond; "Why Rope is Alfred Hitchcock's Most Audacious Masterpiece," Jen Grimble, Little White Lies; "Hitchcock's Rope: A Stunt to Behold," Vincent Canby, New York Times; "Alfred Hitchcock's Rope and the Illusion of the Uninterrupted Take," David Crow, Den of Geek; "These Are The Most Common Zodiac Signs Among Serial Killers," Carolyn Stebe, Bustle.
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—"Warm Duck Shuffle" by Arne Huseby is licensed under CC BY 3.0.