Rope and other great Hitchcock movies

Just saw Rope again this afternoon. By far my favorite Hitchcock movie.

  1. Rope
  2. Vertigo
  3. Pyscho
  4. Rear Window
  5. Strangers on a Train
  6. The Man Who Knew Too Much (remake)
  7. Frenzy

I think it is underrated, perhaps because it is so stagy. But it is so tense, it brings you out in a sweat. for me the best Hitchcocks are North by Northwest, the similar 39 Steps, and Vertigo, but with Rope not that far behind. I also think Frenzy is excellent and underrated.

Ya know, I just watched Rope again the other day and couldn’t get over how disapointing it was. It was one of my all time favorites when I was a teenager, but I though that there was absolutely no tesion in the plot or the pacing when I rewatched it (about a week ago, maybe a bit more). I was really surprised. I also felt like Stewart was phoning it in, though I have heard that he really hated the production because of the long takes and lack of rehersal for the actors.

There are other Hitchcock films that I do still love though. Rear Window and Vertigo topping my list with North by Northwest, Notorious, and the 39 steps following close behind. Rebecca, Strangers on a Train, Psycho, Stage Fright, The Lady Vanishes and Spellbound all fall a bit under that, and then everything else. The Birds probably tops the everthing else list.

I’m the exact opposite. I loved The Birds as a teen and now I find it almost unwatchable. I didn’t see Rope until 2004, but I like it more with each viewing. The movie is unique with the setting entirely in the apartment. The long takes and great color of the picture adds to the film. Also, Hitch pushing the production code with the gay couple who stage the murder.

I never found Rope to be among his best, and even Hitchcock dismissed it as basically just a failed experiment. The ten-minute take was an interesting gimmick, but the movie is only so-so.

If I were ranking Hitchcock, I’d go

  1. North by Northwest
  2. Rear Window
  3. Psycho
  4. Strangers on a Train
  5. The Thirty-Nine Steps

For his most underrated films, I’d list:

  1. Family Plot
  2. Saboteur
  3. Young and Innocent
  4. The Skin Game
  5. Dial M for Murder

I like Rope primarily for the gimmick. But I liked the story too.

How about The Trouble With Harry for the list?

The only trouble with Harry is that I haven’t seen it yet.

That will be corrected this week. It is in my Netflix queue and I should get the movie sometime in the next day or so.

I’ve always liked The Birds, North by Northwest, *Foreign Correspondent *and *Rebecca *(except for the ending). And, although it’s one of his less admired works, I like *Torn Curtain *too.

All of the above plus Notorious

I’ll have to watch Notorious again. I found it to be very slow the first time I watched it a few years ago. It seems like a movie I should like, but for some reason it just bored me.

Best things about The Trouble With Harry: the beautiful autumn location scenes, newcomer Shirley Maclaine, and general tone of black humor. Bad thing: not enough of the beautiful autumn location scenes, too many studio sets.

The Trouble with Harry is beautifully shot, no doubt, but didn’t find it entirely satisfying. I thought John Forsyth was miscast - maybe it’s just that I couldn’t get Blake Carrington out of my head, but I didn’t really buy him as this sort of carefree, bohemian rogue. And the film wasn’t quite funny enough to make it as a black comedy, but too lighthearted to be thrilling.

I agree with usram … though I am not entirely certain who I would cast instead of John Forsyth.

My favorites are:
Rear Window
The Trouble with Harry
Dial M for Murder

in no particular order…

and I hate the Birds. No idea why, but I just dont understand why they didnt just shut the flues, shutter the windows and ride it out. Maybe I just need a reason WHY the birds all of a sudden had a bug up their collective asses against humans in just that one little town.

Beautiful town though. I could see a lovely long weekend relaxing there sometime.

High Anxiety for me. Barry Levinson is great.

Notorious is by far my favorite, followed by Rebecca and The Birds. I never liked Rear Window but Rope was interesting. Notorious just seems to have so many levels to it- the dynamics between Cary Grant/Ingrid Bergman, Sebastian and his mother, and Sebastian and the pseudo-Nazi group.

I find it interesti ng that four of your choices – Rope, Vertigo, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Rear Window – were four of the five Hitchcock movies re-released in restored editions to theaters back in 1983-4 (and subsequently on VHS) (The missing one was The Trouble with Harry, which is elsewhere in this thread). I went to see all of them, although I’d seen most of them before. But I’d never seen Rope. I’d heard of the gimmick, but I really liked the film, even without it. I was really interested to see the lead killer, played by John Dall, because I remembered him as Glabrus in Spartacus and Zaren, the Bad Guy in George Pal’s Atlantis, the Lost Continent. The imdb only lists 17 roles for him, and I’d never heard of any of the others. His performance in Rope was apparently the highlight of his career.

I’m right behind you except for The Birds, which doesn’t do it for me. But *Rebecca *and Notorious are just great. I understand Ronald Colman turned down the lead in *Rebecca *because he didn’t want to play a character whom the audience might think murdered his wife. Of course, a few years later he won an Oscar for playing a murderous actor, so I guess he changed his tune.

These are also my top four, except that Rear Window gets the #1 spot. Engrossing plot, great characters.

I really wanted to like The Thirty-Nine Steps, having enjoyed the novel. It may have been swell for the time it was made, but it comes off as hokey now (plus the plot alterations detract from it). And Vertigo, which seems to be a big favorite among the movie-as-cinema crowd, is one of my least favorites - dull and plodding.

By the way, Bernard Herrmann’s scores for Hitchcock movies are well worth getting a collection on CD. Just find one that includes the music from Taxi Driver.

My faves have been
[li]North by Northwest[/li][li]To Catch a Thief[/li][li]Rear Window[/li][li]Notorious[/li][li]Psycho[/li][li]Dial M for Murder[/li][/ul]

I do think that Vertigo is his most overrated film. I think it lays the obsession out too obviously. Not a bad film, but Hitch did much better.

For his worst, Juno and the Paycock is probably up there. Number 17 isn’t all that good, either, but the finale saves it. And of course, there’s Jamaica Inn. :rolleyes: