Perpetual Movement

Alfred Hitchcock's Rope

By Neil Badmington

Subjects: Film Studies, Popular Culture, Cultural Studies
Series: SUNY series, Horizons of Cinema
Hardcover : 9781438484150, 224 pages, July 2021
Paperback : 9781438484167, 224 pages, January 2022

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations
Note on Archival Sources

Introduction: Entangled

1. Operation Rope

2. Inside

3. Entrances, Elsewheres

4. In the Bedroom

5. Just Plain Something

6. Miss Sashweight of the Blunt Instrument Department

7. From OR to "We"

8. Two Small Fugitives from a Bowl of Alphabet Soup

9. Faking Freud

10. Cat and Mouse

11. Arrest Indicated


Offers both a production history and a close analysis, with a chapter for each of the film's eleven shots.


The first book-length study in English of Alfred Hitchcock's Rope (1948), Perpetual Movement offers both a production history that draws extensively upon little-known archival materials, including set drawings and drafts of the screenplay, and a close examination of the film in which Neil Badmington analyzes each of Rope's eleven shots. Writing in an accessible and engaging style, Badmington explores the film's treatment of space, sound, editing, sexuality, source material, design, intertexuality, narrative, and music. He looks at Hitchcock's struggle with censorship while planning, shooting, and distributing the film. Perpetual Movement also addresses Rope's reception and legacy, explaining why the film's unusual qualities provide such lasting appeal for viewers.

Neil Badmington is Professor of English Literature at Cardiff University. He is the author of Hitchcock's Magic, The Afterlives of Roland Barthes, and Alien Chic.


"Taut, thought-provoking, and perpetually interesting … Badmington's Perpetual Movement is a delight that rewards rereading, just as Rope itself rewards repeat viewings." — Hitchcock Annual