Queer Dark Thrillers


movie      fiction

  • Rope
  • Author: Patrick Hamilton, Hume Cronyn, Arthur Laurents and Ben Hecht
  • Director: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Producer: Universal Pictures
  • Year: 1948
  • Country: US
  • 80 minutes
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Manhattan socialites Brandon Shaw and Phillip Morgan choke a friend of theirs to death as an intellectual challenge to commit the perfect murder. Not content to escape the penalty of law by simply disposing of the body quietly, they devise an elaborate and dangerous display of arrogance: The two stuff David's lifeless body into a chest and throw a dinner party serving their guests, literally, from the convenient tabletop of the young man's grave.

In attendance are the victim's father and aunt, the victim's rival for the hand of David's fianc\ée, who also attends, the servant; and Rupert Cadell, the murderers' former teacher whose flippant repartee regarding social caste festered into the pathological short circuit that led to Brandon's and Phillip's crime. Brandon's sense of intellectual superiority swells to reckless levels throughout the evening as he makes a game out of cleverly dropping his guests hints at nasty goings on. Meanwhile, Phillip grows increasingly frightful and guilt-ridden as Rupert inches ever closer to discovering why David hasn't yet arrived at the party.

Qvamp says:

An early Hitchcock film, shot in black and white. This film was an experiment to find out if every scene could be filmed as one, unbroken, shot. It is also the earliest film portraying real-life murderers Leopold and Loeb.

Though the characters are never actually stated as being gay, the inferences are there.

Rating A
Queer Vampire Rating B
Amount of Gay Content alluded to


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By: therqeb ( dajohnsen@ucdavis.edu )
Overall Rating: B     Queer thriller Rating: B+    

There is a great deal of innuendo in this film (for its time), but what is more intriguing is that the play the movie was based on had far more explicit gay content. Stewart's character was supposed to have even had an affair with one of the young men. A gay Jimmy Stewart, what would have America thought? There is a behind the scences bit on the dvd which shares all this. If you happen to rent/own it, check it out as well.



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