[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/112rope_2827.jpg]]
->The good Americans usually die young on the battlefield, don't they? Well, the Davids of this world merely occupy space, which is why he was the perfect victim for the perfect murder. Course he, uh, he was a Harvard undergraduate. That might make it justifiable homicide.
--> --'''Brandon'''

A 1929 stage play by Patrick Hamilton, more famously known as the 1948 Creator/AlfredHitchcock film that was shot in ten takes and cut to look like [[TheOner one]].

One day, two elite young Manhattanites, Brandon Shaw (John Dall) and Phillip Morgan (Farley Granger), murder their acquaintance, David Kentley, and hide [[MacGuffin the body]] in a chest. Their reason for doing so is to commit the perfect murder; to see how perfect it is, they host a party with the chest in plain-sight. All the guests in the party, including David's fiancÚ Janet Walker (Joan Chandler) and the killers' former teacher, Rupert Cadell (JamesStewart), grow worried at his absence. As Brandon pushes his luck, Phillip shows remorse and Rupert investigates his suspicions. All of this leads to a discovery...

The film is particularly known for its experimental style. Hitchcock abandoned typical shooting and editing methods in favor of long unbroken scenes. Each shot ran continuously for up to ten minutes without interruption. He would went to use the same technique in ''Film/UnderCapricorn'' (1949) and to a lesser extent ''Film/StageFright'' (1950). The homosexuality subtext was also considered daring for its time. While not a major hit at the time of its release, the fim gained in popularity over the following decades. Today it is often listed among the best of the director.
----
!!This film features examples of:
* AdaptationalSexuality: Brandon and Philip being gay was a lot clearer in the original play but is reduced to subtext in the film (mostly due to the censorship at the time) and Brandon is implied to be bisexual.
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking:
--> '''Janet:''' Well, now, you don't really approve of murder, Rupert? If I may?
--> '''Rupert:''' You may... and I do. Think of the problems it would solve: unemployment, poverty, standing in line for theatre tickets...
* BackBlocking: At least every 10 minutes, Hitchcock ends a shot by panning to a character's back blocking the entire screen, then begins the next shot by panning away or when they move aside.
* BittersweetEnding:[[spoiler: Rupert figures out what Brandon and Philip have done and alerts the authorities, but it's clear that by now he is a broken shell of a man.]]
* BreakTheHaughty: Brandon, the least-remorseful of the two killers, gets his comeuppance when [[spoiler: Rupert gives him a big TheReasonYouSuckSpeech before alerting the police to the murder.]]
* ComplexityAddiction: Brandon's insistence on style is [[spoiler:the reason they get caught almost instantly]].
* CreatorBacklash: James Stewart said later that this was his least favourite collaboration with Hitchcock (he hated how he acted in it, not the film itself).
* CreatorCameo: Two of them, in fact. Hitchcock is seen as a sidewalk pedestrian during the opening credits, and later a red neon sign of his famous self-portrait silhouette is visible outside the apartment window once the sun goes down.
* DeadMansChest
* DepravedBisexual: Brandon is implied to be this, as there is obvious subtext that he and Philip are involved and he also refers to a past relationship with Janet.
* DramaticIrony: Any time the other guests wonder why David is late to the party. The audience knows he isn't late at all and was actually early to the party.
* DullSurprise: James Stewart as Rupert Cadell.
* EnforcedMethodActing: The actress playing Mrs Wilson was apparently treated like a maid by the rest of the cast during filming.
* ExtremelyShortTimespan: The events take place over the course of a single evening, and actually unfold even faster than RealTime.
* FauxAffablyEvil: Brandon. He loses whatever "charm" he has ''very'' fast.
* FiringInTheAirAlot: [[spoiler: Rupert]] does this at the end [[spoiler: to call the authorities.]]
* ForTheEvulz: Brandon's motivation.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: It's pretty clear that Brandon and Phillip are in a relationship, even considering the strict censorship of the time. That said, this was apparently clearer in the play.
* GodwinsLaw: A discussion of Nietzsche and Brandon believing in the concept of supermen prompts the response "so did Hitler" from David's father.
* GuiltRiddenAccomplice: Phillip.
* GunStruggle: Between [[spoiler: Rupert and Phillip]]
* HaveAGayOldTime:
** "I just couldn't be the gay girl anymore".
** "How queer".
** Given the homosexual subtext, this may be intentional.
* HeelFaceTurn: Rupert does one at the end. Although...Jimmy Stewart could never really ''be'' a heel, anyhow.
* HollywoodOld: Jimmy Stewart is greyed at the temples, but it's still obvious he's the same age as his supposed former students.
* INeedAFreakingDrink: Several characters
* InspiredBy: The story was inspired by a real-life murder committed by Leopold and Loeb.
* InsufferableGenius: Brandon. He puts on as elaborate a display he can of the murder as part of a joke only he'll enjoy. Phillip calls him out on this, accusing him of secretly wanting to get caught just so he can boast about how cleverly he committed the act.
* MacGuffin: It's Hitch, so it's pretty much required. In this case, it's David's body.
* MissingTrailerScene: The film was originally meant to open with a scene of Janet and David in Central Park but that was cut and put in the trailer instead.
* NietzscheWannabe: Our two "heroes" decide that David's "inferiority" justifies his death. Rupert Cadell also counts, considering the murder was inspired by his rhetoric, but he [[spoiler: [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone renounces his way of thinking once he realizes what happened.]]]]
* TheOner: Hitchcock wanted to make the film one long, continuous shot. Sadly, this wasn't feasible with the technology of the time: film would run out after about ten minutes, so the camera would zoom in on some person or something, and zoom out when it cuts. But because film reels in the cinema would run out after ten minutes and need to be changed over, some cuts are straightforward and normal.
* ThePerfectCrime: Brandon brags that it is "the perfect murder", which leads to him being so cocky about it.
* PlayingAgainstType: James Stewart as Rupert Cadell.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: [[spoiler: Rupert]] gives a big one to [[spoiler: Brandon]] ([[MyGodWhatHaveIDone and partially himself]]) when the latter tries to [[spoiler: justify David's murder with [[NietzscheWannabe Rupert's rhetoric]].]]
* ReverseWhodunnit: We know the two are guilty; the only question is if they can get away with it.
* RippedFromTheHeadlines: The stage play from which the movie was adapted was inspired by the infamous Leopold and Loeb murder case from 1924. Another fictionalized version would come about a decade later with Richard Fleischer's ''Compulsion''.
* ShoutOut: Janet's and Mrs. Atwater's conversation about Creator/CaryGrant and Creator/IngridBergman starring in a movie with a OneWordTitle that neither Janet nor Mrs. Atwater can remember might refer to ''Film/{{Notorious}}''.
** Mrs. Atwater also sings the praises of actor James Mason ("So attractively sinister!")... who, a decade later, would appear as a villain in Hitchcock's ''Film/NorthByNorthwest''.
* SissyVillain: Brandon and Phillip.
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHhBXg-QTfY Made all too obvious in this Youtube rework.]] The fun start 2 minutes in.
* SmugSnake: Brandon. Brandon. And [[RuleOfThree Brandon]].
* SpannerInTheWorks: Rupert Cadell.
* TrailersAlwaysSpoil: The trailer shows [[spoiler: the final scene of Rupert finding out about David's murder]] thus eliminating a lot of the suspense.
* VillainOpeningScene
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: Creator/CaryGrant was the original choice to play Rupert Cadell but he turned it down, and the part went to James Stewart instead.
----