Rope (1948)
Rope (1948)
Rope (1948)
Rope (1948)
Rope (1948)
Rope (1948)

Film Studies

Cinema Classics Seminar:

Hitchcock: The Perfect Crime
Thursday, July 6, 2023, 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm  
Instructor: Amy Corbin, Ph.D., Director of Film Studies, Muhlenberg College

Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope (1948) follows two college students out to prove their intellectual superiority by committing the “perfect” murder. The story plays out in “real time,” filmed using 10-minute takes. Despite its single location, Rope’s use of Technicolor and gliding camerawork keeps it visually dynamic. The actors are impeccably choreographed and as the conversation groups shift, the characters’ prejudices and interpersonal tensions are exposed. Meanwhile, we watch to see whether the murder will be discovered.

Rope explores the boundaries of amorality and the idea that some humans are innately superior to others, a theme with relevance to the then-recent war. Though muted in the screen version, the play’s gay male relationships clearly remain, allowing us to discuss the symbolism and commentary of the film’s “queer coding.”

In this seminar, we’ll consider Rope in relation to Hitchcock’s recurring themes and stylistic choices, as well as in the context of the director’s collaboration with James Stewart. While contemporary reviewers were mixed about Rope, there’s no question that it is a fascinating film that pushes the boundaries of Hollywood convention in both content and filmmaking technique.

Are you interested in “just” seeing this movie? Visit the public screening page here.

Cinema Classics Seminars offer an entertaining and engaging way to learn more about some of the true classics of world cinema. All students receive an introductory lecture before the film and a guided discussion after the film. In addition, those in attendance receive a ticket to see it on the big screen, as well as popcorn and a drink. Please note: the screening associated with this seminar will be open to the public, as well.

Please email BMFI Programs and Education Coordinator Jill Malcolm with any questions.


Course Information

$25 for members, $35 for non-members


  • Thursday, July 6 · 6:30 pm

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