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So the ACF podcast is giving you more Hitchcock! Eric and I talk about Rope (1948) on its 70th anniversary. This is unusual by Hitchcock and genre standards: A thriller that lets you know the murderers from the opening scene and never lets them out of your sight! Hitchcock brings a lot of art to this idea to make the moral question urgent and its deep implications, for America and humanity, palpable. At the same time, we’re not worried about spoiling the plot talking about this and you can be sure you’ll love the movie at least as much after listening to our conversation!
This is also the first of two collaborations between Hitchcock and Farley Granger, the other being Strangers on a train (1951). In both cases, you see what Hitchcock saw in Granger: The look of guilt, of tormented youth, the slightly shifty, handsome looks, not quite trustworthy, not quite reliable–it’s a pleasure to see him squirm!
We think the movies are companion pieces. As this one is a scandal among the high classes in New York, that one is in the high classes of DC. This one’s about intellectuals, books, publishing — enlightenment in America, the other one about politics, respectability, and privilege — nihilism examined in a more practical environment. Eric and I have already recorded a conversation on that one as well and will share it soon!
Eric also brings his knowledge of music into the discussion — we listen to some Poulenc (Perpetual Movements) at a crucial point in the movie … And I bring Terry Teachout’s knowledge of painting — a Milton Avery portrait is on display in one of the rooms. I hadn’t caught it, but he did! So we talk about modernism in the arts, too.