Disorganizing the narrative economy of Hitchcockian suspense and at odds with the formal perfection of the director’s acclaimed style, Rope’s secret understyle traffics in faults, oversights, and inelegancies of various kinds, all strangely accepted and even flaunted, rather than hidden, by the film. Though visible only to those who view Rope too closely, these errors touch on a central aspect of Hitchcock’s perfectionist art, disclosing an essentially imperfect Hitchcock, one who is endlessly and deliberately making and cleaning up messes, and whose very corrections cause further mistakes to proliferate.

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