A Film by Alfred Hitchcock
New Books Network 2023
Rope (1948) may not be top-shelf Hitchcock, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t interesting and worth repeated viewings. After arguing back at those who find Jimmy Stewart miscast, Mike and Dan talk about how the film stands as another example of Hitchcock using violence to dramatize the sex lives of his characters. Mike lists the ways in which the director resembles the killer, specifically Brandon: a Nabokovian figure through which Hitchcock shows the audience what it’s like to have an artistic temperament. Another Russian, Dostoevsky, comes into the conversation when Dan talks about Philip’s complaint that his former teacher is “plating Crime and Punishment.” It’s the kind of unscripted, enthusiastic conversation you have with your friends in the car on the way home from the movies—so put down the pâté and give it a listen!
So many books have been written about Hitchcock, but the book-length interview by Francois Truffaut still stands as one of the best. It never gets old.