8 Great Films That Are Under 90 Minutes

Rope (dir. Alfred Hitchcock)

Runtime: 80 minutes


Rope certainly is an interesting film, dominated by the wholly malevolent minds of its two main characters. After Brandon (John Dall) and Phillip (Farley Granger), two homosexual college students, decide to kill their classmate, they hide his body in the living room and, in order to test the perfection of their crime, they host a dinner party with those closest to the victim. To Brandon, these people are pawns who can easily be fooled, but in order to feel completely satisfied, he invites the one man Phillip is convinced will figure out the truth: their philosophy professor, Rupert Cadell (James Stewart).

The film feels more like a play than a movie, and some of the technical liberties Hitchcock takes to ensure that “stage feel” hurt Rope, but the uncontrollably intriguing story saves it. It’s obvious that Hitchcock’s fascination with situations involving the troublesomeness of dead bodies and the perfect murder (which is also a theme in his 1951 classic, Strangers on a Train, starring Farley Granger) drew him towards Patrick Hamilton’s tale. But for Brandon, the dead body is not as much an inconvenience as it is a toy; the only reason he kills in the first place is for the experience.

Hitchcock described his 1948 thriller as an “experiment that didn’t work out.” Whether or not that’s true is up to self-interpretation.

Quote to remember: “Did you think you were God, Brandon?” – Rupert