Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. US. 1948. PG. 80 minutes. Universal. Digital.
Sun., January 3, 2016
Alfred Hitchcock, master of suspense, scores again with this highly unusual tale of two college students (Farley Granger and John Dall) who murder a classmate “just for the thrill of it,” hide his body in an antique trunk in the middle of their apartment, and then proceed to throw a cocktail party there. Based loosely on the true case of Leopold and Loeb (as was the film “Compulsion”), this was Hitchcock’s first film to be photographed in color as well as his first to star James Stewart, playing the murderers’ astute and wily professor, a guest at the party. Though quite famous for Hitchcock’s “stunt” of filming the story in a series of ten-minute takes and then editing it to appear to be one long continuous shot, with the skyline of New York gradually turning to dusk as the tension mounts, it is also a tour de force of psychological tension. Come see it and watch Hitch work his magic. (Bill Roth)