“He’s a Harvard undergraduate. It’s almost justifiable homocide.”

Today I came down with a migraine. I took the migraine meds, and then, because I am not working* (which provides distraction), I decided to watch my favorite Hitchcock film, Rope.

Whenever I hear people talk about Hitchcock’s greatest, Rope doesn’t get mentioned. Psycho does, or Vertigo (my second favorite Hitchcock film), or sometimes North by Northwest (which bores me). But it’s as though people have forgotten about Rope.

It’s a taut little thriller, about two young men who set out to commit the perfect murder, and how one of them decides to gloat about it. It’s not “who-done-it” but “will they get away with it.” They gamble with discovery every step of the way, deliberately, as a way to prove their superiority to “ordinary people.” Jimmy Stewart is wonderful as the cat to John Dall and Farley Granger’s mice.

Every time I see it get something new. Today, as I was watching Dall leading — almost browbeating — Granger through the cover-up (and, one suspects, through the murder), I was reminded what I had read about the Columbine killers, that Eric Harris was a psychopath and Dylan Klebold a depressive who fell under his sway. The same dynamic was at work here.

Fascinating. Check it out if you have a chance.

*Yeah… not working. Long story.

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