Alfred Hitchcock Thriller On Prime Video Gives Iconic Actor One Of His Best Roles

By Brian Myers | Published

Alfred Hitchcock emerged as one of Hollywood’s greatest directors with the 1940 film Rebecca, which earned him his first Academy Award nomination. Before the decade was over, the British director worked with the biggest stars in the business and often used the same players over multiple films. Western actor Jimmy Stewart was one such actor, who made the first of four appearances in a Hitchcock film in the 1948 thriller Rope.

Rope Is A Hitchcock Classic

Rope opens looking into the window of a Manhattan penthouse as two young men are strangling a colleague. The killers, Brandon Shaw (John Dall) and Phillip Morgan (Farley Granger), engage in a conversation afterward in which their chilling motive is revealed. The two elitists are convinced that they are capable of committing the perfect murder and decide to off an acquaintance to prove it.

Jimmy Stewart And Hitchcock’s First Collaboration

The two place the body, still with the rope around the neck, inside of a large trunk. The trunk is the centerpiece of the party they are hosting that evening so they decide to place the dinner buffet on its surface. Their friends and families arrive, along with the father and aunt of their victim, totally unaware that they are in the same room with a hidden corpse.

Among the dinner guests in Rope is Rupert Cadell (Jimmy Stewart), the headmaster of Brandon and Phillip’s former prep school. Over the course of the evening, party guests begin to question the absence of David Kentley, the murder victim. As the dinner progresses and the drinks begin to flow, the cockiness of both killers slowly begins to erode and expose a bank of anxiety.

Student Vs. Teacher

Sensing that something is amiss, Rupert begins to pick up on cues from Phillip and Brandon’s behaviors. Though not a detective, the headmaster is able to ascertain that David’s absence is not a coincidence and he begins to suspect that his hosts are somehow responsible. Rope becomes a question of whether or not the nerves of the killers are a match for the wit and intellectual prowess of their one-time mentor.

A Single Location Contains All The Suspense

Rope serves as one of Alfred Hitchcock‘s greatest entries from the first half of his film career. The movie’s action all takes place in the apartment of Brandon and Phillip, creating a need for Hitchcock’s meticulous sense of detail. The master of suspense lives up to his storied reputation as he is able to create a sense of claustrophobic paranoia for the two killers as the pressure is applied to them, akin to the feeling of being in a trunk like their victim.

One Of Jimmy Stewart’s Best Performances

Rope was the first time Jimmy Stewart appeared in one of Hitchcock’s films, and the veteran actor delivered one of the best performances of his career. His timing and tone make Rupert a believable intellectual with keen detection skills whose intensity increases as the film progresses.

Multiple Ways To Stream Today


Dall and Granger are equally talented on screen, both young actors portraying their respective characters in ways that make audiences feel the murderous duo’s cockiness, followed by their anxieties. With Rope, Hitchcock was able to bring out the best from these two performers elevating the film’s tone.

Rope is one of Hitchcock’s greatest films. You can stream Rope for free with Prime or rent this classic Alfred Hitchcock film On Demand with Vudu, Google Play, or AppleTV.