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Rope (Alfred Hitchcock, 1948)

The film is shot entirely in a penthouse in Manhattan during a dinner party. Hitchcock completely conceived the building in a movie set. Rope takes place in real time between 19,30 and 21,00 o'clock and it appears as one long shot. For the analysis of the complex set used in Rope the main document is the interview conducted by François Truffaut with Alfred Hitchcock. Hitchcock’s detailed description of the set is particularly useful for determining the space of the penthouse and the dimensions of the Cyclorama that recreates the landscape of Manhattan. The heavy ‘elephant’, the camera colour used for the film, flows for 90 minutes and crosses the rooms of the penthouse transversally. It is carried by four people according to specific trajectories drawn by Hitchcock. Moving the camera according to his instructions required the removal of some walls between the rooms. The space of the living room was virtually divided in one-foot squares in order to easily reposition actors, furniture and camera. 

Interpretative drawings of the film set: plan and section.

Panoramic image of two digital frames of the film.

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