The Hidden Cuts in Hitchcock’s Rope

The Hitchcock film Rope has been hailed as a classic of film making for over half a century now.  At the time of release it was marketed as if it was a stage play. The gimmick was that it was shot as if in one continuous sequence. Now this would not be physically possible with the way that film was shot in pre digital days.

For shooting purposes film reel has a finite length. It has a limit of about ten minutes. So how did Hitchcock manage to make it look as if it was recorded in one consecutive sequence?  The answer is he used some very clever and subtle editing techniques. There are a total of ten cuts in the film that use one of two types of cut, the conventional cut away and the dissolve. The short video below details the ten cuts and gives an insight into an important and sometimes overlooked aspect of the film making process.

How Alfred Hitchcock hid 10 Edits in ROPE from Vashi Nedomansky on Vimeo.

John McArthur
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