Looking for an Alfred Hitchcock movie [shot in a single take]... and others like it.

There was an X-Files episode called ‘Triangle’, and it was all done in only a few takes. I believe they said they were inspired be a Hitchcock film with only a few takes. Anyone know which movie it is, and what it’s about?

Also, any other movies that attempted the same? I think I remember seeing a movie that had four stories about four people all done in just one take… I forgot the name, but the screen was split into four, and all the stories happened simultaneously.


Famously, Alfred Hitchcock’s “Rope” was supposedly only done in one single take. Actually it was 10, because they had to use multiple film reels - one reel was nowhere near long enough to fit an entire movie, obviously. But it was filmed as though it were a single take, and the effect is pretty cool.

I just love the style. Thanks MsWhatsit!

No problem! Also, you might want to ask the mods to re-title the thread to “Movies shot in a single take” or something like that, to draw more interest. :slight_smile:

I haven’t seen it, but the movie you’re thinking of is Timecode. It sounds intriguing, but I don’t know how successful it would be.

I revised the title. I’m assuming the OP won’t mind, but please let me know.

Another example is Russian Ark (2002).

This link shows you ten well-known long tracking shots.

There’s The Norman Conquests which is a trilogy of plays by Alan Ayckbourn. The three plays, Table Manners, Living Together, and Round and Round the Garden, are all self-contained and can be seen alone. But they all feature the same characters and take place simultaneously. The plays are set in three different parts of one house - so a character can walk out of one play and walk into another.

And surprisingly enough, there’s an x-rated movie that uses the split screen idea, Chrono Sex (2005). Like Timecode it shows four simultaneous stories - only with more sex.

How about the video for Mr. Krinkleby Primus? :smiley:

Running Time is another film inspired by Rope in that respect. It features Bruce Campbell as an ex-con who just got out of prison and is being pushed into doing a big heist.

I don’t know if that counts. There’s lots of scenes shot with a fixed camera.

Ayckbourn also did House & Garden, two plays that take place simultaneously. It has been staged so that they used the same cast in two different theaters (next door to each other).

Saw that movie a loooong time ago, IIRC my reaction was that the concept was really cool, it was executed well, but the movie itself wasn’t very good.

It’s not the whole movie, by any means, but if Little Nemo can include long tracking shots, so can I.
Rouben Mamoulian’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a fascinating film for many reasons, but opens with a long point-of-view tracking shot that moves from an organ keyboard, through a door, out into the hall, looks straight into a mirror, and out into the street.

Of course, the “mirror” is a shot into an identical room, but it’s wonderfully choreographed. I really do think the butler is the same guy in the mirror and out, not just a similar-looking guy.

You’re right, it wasn’t.

Thanks for changing the title. :slight_smile:

Wasn’t there a Coen brothers movie that was shot all in one take, or at least had a long scene like that? I want to say Blood Simple.

Tarantino uses the long tracking shot in several of his movies. There’s one in Reservoir Dogs and Kill Bill Vol. 1, right off the top of my head.

I know the OP wasn’t asking for long tracking shots, but someone else mentioned them.

Children of Men had several scenes that appeared to be very long tracking shots. I don’t know if they were actually shot that way or just very cleverly edited.

The Player is somewhat of an homage to Hitchcock, and has a long opening scene done in a single shot. Excellent movie, too, with a great cast.

There’s an even more fascinating mirror scene in Contact.

As an aside, was Jekyll and Hyde the first horror movie to use “Tocatta and Fugue in D Minor”?

Boogie Nights opened with a pretty long unbroken sequence. Stranger Than Paradise was, in its entirety, five or six long shots.