Rope Needs More Gay – Rantasmo

Rantasmo unwinds Alfred Hitchcock’s suspenseful and gay-coded 1948 thriller, Rope.

About rantasmo

Needs More Gay dissects the highs and lows of gay pop culture with the precision of a dull machete.


  1. Snorgatch Pandalume

    Yeah, sorry, not buying it.
    First of all, there is zero evidence that the real people the characters in Rope are based on–Leopold and Loeb–were either gay or romantically involved with each other. That idea was insinuated by the popular press of the day to make them seem even more twisted and perverted than they were–as if brutally murdering an innocent boy for fun wasn’t quite bad enough. You also gloss over the fact that in the movie it is mentioned that John Dall’s character used to be romantically involved with the girl at the party, who was now dating the murder victim, thus providing a potentially much more prosaic motive for the killing than proving his intellectual superiority–namely, jealousy and revenge.
    The whole focus of Rope was not on homosexuality, but on the arrogance of the two killers, who believed that their intellectual and cultural superiority put them above the law. Remember that the movie was made just three years after the death of Hitler, who had espoused similar beliefs. The real moral center of the movie is not Jimmy Stewart’s character, who is rightly horrified when the beliefs that he only casually entertained but didn’t really take seriously are thrown back in his face, but the father of the victim, whom you never mention. He is the one who likens those beliefs to Hitler’s, which Brendan takes exception to, though not because the Nazis were cruel and brutal, but because they were stupid.

    • Snorgatch, I suggest you do some research about how double coding was used during the Hays code, particularly for representing gay characters. The Celluloid Closet documentary is a good place to start, it features an interview about Rope.

    • What is bisexuality

      • Can’t say for certain, but I’m given the impression that bisexuality is when someone is open to a relationship with members of either genders, no matter their own gender.
        Let me see if this makes it clearer:
        Gay= someone who dates people of the same gender as themselves
        Straight= someone who dates people of the opposite gender of themselves
        Bisexual= someone who dates people of both the same and opposite gender of themselves.
        Hope this helps

  2. I think the connection between “rich white people” and murder is old murder mysteries. 🙂 That said, I love that Hitchcock ultimately depicts such things as nightmarish in this movie.

    And I love “Rope,” both artistically and as a creepy from-the-killers’-perspective thriller. The interplay between the characters is just delicious, even if the charming-sociopath-killer characters being depicted as queer men is problematic. My main problem is… well, the miscasting of Rupert. I love Jimmy Stewart, but he doesn’t quite work.

    And yeah, I do love the quiet acknowledgement that their queer sexualities and relationship are open and acknowledged by all, insofar as Hitch could do such a thing. It certainly does point to the relationship as not being the issue with them.

    “Gay British Zatoichi” needs to be a thing.

  3. Hannibal is my favorite thing and I love you for bringing it up. If you did an episode about Hannibal I would love you f o r e v e r.

    I wish someone else had played Rupert…I enjoy Rope more for how it’s made (the false constant take) than for the content, unless I’m analyzing it.

  4. Okay, I totally want to see this flick now. It looks so intriguing!

    Also, does that mean you might do a episode about Hannibal the TV series? I am just about getting into it on Netflick, but I am not worried about spoilers or anything! 😀

  5. For a 40’s movie this looks really good. Like a BBC show

    I’ve heard of this movie: the premise is super cool except for the aggravating ‘rich, smart people are full of themselves so they do what they want’ trope thrown in there. It’s older then this movie and it’s just very annoying, especially all the conversations held by the smart rich people about how smart, rich and just superior they are. Still I may give this film a watch

    As a fan of murder mysteries, I have to say what you say about dinner parties is quite interesting: murders at dinner parties always tend to be ‘marvelous’. Sort of ties back to my earlier comment about the smart and rich being smarmy.
    And the idea about the seductive aspects about the relationship between detective and killer is really fascinating; I had never thought about it that way.

    • And I hope you don’t mind my saying but I must say that the full beard and mustache suits you very well, better then just the beard

    • Snorgatch Pandalume

      Rope isn’t a murder mystery. There is no mystery here. We know right from the start who the murderers are. Rope deals with the aftermath of a murder and delves into why it was committed.

      • OK; suspense thriller then. That works better. Also when I used the term ‘murder mystery’ I was responding to when he was talking about dinner party murder mysteries which doesn’t necessarily include this movie

  6. I was impressed you went so far back for a review, enough to pop over to your you tube channel to see if you’d put thoughts to “Bringing up Baby” from ten years before, but maybe there’s not enough meat there.

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