Last night, i watched Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope for the third time and the only thing that i was thinking when it was over was “Why is this not considered among the rest of his masterpieces?” I found the film’s themes and script much more complex then any of his over the top spy thrillers. Also the direction was was perfect, though that goes without saying when you’re talking about an Alfred Hitchcock film. The way Hitchcock uses 8 minute takes to really make it look like its shot in real time is just phenomenal.
This got me thinking about other great directors whose great films get under appreciated over time. Some that come to mind:
Barry Lyndon (1975, Stanley Kubrick): A film that really is never talked about much anymore. A film, in my opinion, is as good as his all time masterpiece 2001: a space odyssey
The Passenger (1975, Michelangelo Antonioni): Another film from 1975 and features on of Jack Nicholson’s greatest performances as well as one of the greatest scenes the legendary directors has ever filmed.
Stroszek (1977, Werner Herzog): Hell i could probably name a good number of Hertzog’s films that get overshadowed by Aguirre, the Wrath of God
Drunken Angel (1948, Akira Karasowa): Well its one of his greatest works and one that has yet gotten enough recognition as one of the legendary directors best films
I agree with you on “Rope” and “Barry Lyndon.”
Love “The Passenger” but for my money “Eclipse” is Antonioni’s best.
Other underrated films by the greats
“The King of Comedy” and “After Hours” (Scorsese)
“One From the Heart” and “Rumble Flish” (Coppola)
“Nouvelle Vague” and “Detective” (Godard)
“The Sheltering Sky” and “Partner” (Bertolucci)
His recent film have been more accessible to mainstream audiences but this quiet methodical film shows you what Cronenberg can really do.
Wait wait wait are you telling me in the same week I meet someone who thinks Spellbound is a masterpiece and that Rope is a masterpiece! I’m not alone! Both are in my top 5 Hitch films. I saw Rope in theatres doubled with Lifeboat. It was so fantastic. About some films I think are underrated by great directors:
Kubrick: Barry Lyndon, Eyes Wide Shut
Hitchcock: Rope, Spellbound
Scorsese: The King of Comedy, Gangs of New York
Kazan: East of Eden (but I would say more Kazan as a whole is underrated)
Ford: 3 Godfathers
Coppola: Rumble Fish
Dreyer: Day of Wrath
The great thing is a ton of people here recognize these films as they should be. Also the films I listed range greatly in quality.
I agree with you on “Stroszek” and“Barry Lyndon.”These two are marvelous.
I’m not sure about Solaris, it might be Tarkovky’s most popular film, but totally agree about east of eden (great film). Also great to hear someone mention Cronenberg’s Spider.
Popular maybe but definitely underrated when people make greatest movie lists of all time. Evidence on They Shoot Pictures Don’t They: Andrei Rublev-41, The Mirror-69, Stalker-125, Solaris-225. So probably the least underrated among the films I listed but still underrated when talking about Tarkovsky.
Drew – You rock. Rope is my favorite Hitchcock film. And I just bought the Criterion version of Spellbound! Can’t wait to see it!
Somebody mentioned it…and it’s my favorite movie…Bertolucci’s Partner.
So Web Bist my school has one play a year that is put on with a student director. I wasn’t old enough this year but I have been thinking in advance on what I could do. Rope was my first idea. Do you think it could be put on successfully as a play. I know it was originally a play but I would use the movie script because I can’t find the script for the play. My other idea was to do Rear Window and have all the stuff seen through the windows be on a risen platform behind the lead characters but I thought that might be a tad confusing and too ambitious.
Drew – Rear Window would be tough to do. There are a lot of things happening out of the room that would be difficult to show on stage. Thus, it would reduce the suspense.
But Rope….OH YES. It would be perfect. Have the stage divided into two parts – one for the main room (where the party takes place) and one for the are where the desert was served (Have 75% of the stage the main room though). Have the David’s coffin (the chest) up front and make sure it opens facing away from the audience. The exit to the apartment would be in between the two rooms away from the audience. IT WOULD BE AMAZING.
Because the story takes place in one setting, there is little set work to do during the play making it low maintenance. The film will serve as the perfect guide to how the play would proceed. The only scenes you would have to worry about are the ones where the camera stays on specific objects in the film (like the chest).
That is the link to the script for the play. The cheapest copy is 40 bucks (I know, a bit pricey). But if all the actors and actresses involved pitch in, it would reduce the cost dramatically.
I say perform ROPE!
Alejandro Jodorowsky’s La Cravate. A short silent film (35 minutes) about a girl who sells heads. Surreal fable in mime, with a deep spiritual message and lots of humour. A real little gem.
Altman’s “The Last Goodbye”
Van Sant’s “Gerry”
Malick’s “The New World”
I sometimes feel like almost every one of Gus Van Sant’s independent films could be eligible: from drugstore to paranoid park. My pick would be My Own Private Idaho. A film thats so odd and strange yet has the ability to balance Shakespearean tragedy with a dream-like innocence and a very absurd sense of humor. One of my all time favorites.
My favorite Van Sant picture, as well, Anubhav. And one that exorcised whatever homophobic demons remained in my midwestern-bred soul.
“rope” is one of hitchcock’s acknowledged masterpieces. maybe people don’t put it on the level of “vertigo” or “the lady vanishes”, but there’s no secret surrounding “rope”. its a classic masterwork of his.
the film i’d like to think is underrated and not labeled a masterpiece is “frenzy”. but critical opinion has been coming around on this one, so i’m not even sure i can say that anymore. which means i have to go with a radical choice and say that “secret agent” is one of hitchcock’s lost masterworks!
John Houston – The Misfits
Gus Vant Sant – Paranoid Park
Alfred Hitchcock – Skin Game
George Cukor – Les Girls
George Cukor – It Should Happen to you
Jonathan Glazer – Birth
David Butler – Calamity Jane
Claude Chabrol – La Cérémonie
Jean Renoir – The River
Fred Niblo – The Mysterious Lady
Martin Scorsese – After Hours
Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger – I Know Where I’m Going
John Ford – Arrowsmith
Wong Kar-wai – Happy Together
Lois Weber – Hypocrites
Douglas Sirk – Tarnished Angels
I LOVED THE SERPENT’S EGG. i don’t get people’s beef with it.
Robert Altman’s Streamers, Sam Fuller’s Crimson Kimono, Francis Coppola’s The Rain People, William Freidkin’s To live and Die in L.A, Steven Spielberg’s Sugarland Express, Sidney Lumet’s The Fugitive Kind, Douglas Sirk’s A Time to Love, A Time to Die, Michael Mann’s The Keep, Sergio Leone’s Duck You Sucker
Francis Ford Coppola – Tucker: The Man and His Dream
Woody Allen – Shadows and Fog
Akira Kurosawa- I live in Fear
Yimou Zhang- Happy Time
Scorsese – Kings of Comedy. Saw the movie before i read any review about the movie. I felt it was a better performance by DeNiro compare to Raging Bull.
I enjoyed Scorsese’s After Hours. I think that one gets overlooked because people don’t tend to think of Scorsese as a director of comedies.
Kurosawa’s High and Low (although maybe not so overlooked on this site)
Bergman’s Hour of the Wolf
David Lean’s This Happy Breed
Bergman’s The Virgin Spring
Dreyer’s The Presidents – f**king amazing debut
Bunuel in Mexico – Gondry, Inception goes to hell
Monterio’s Come and Go – strong b..e…a….u….ty
Henry King: MARGIE
George Seaton: APARTMENT FOR PEGGY
Douglas Sirk: HAS ANYBODY SEEN MY GAL?, TAZA SON OF COCHISE, SIGN OF THE PAGAN
Anthony Mann: SIDE STREET, THE TALL TARGET, DEVIL’S DOORWAY
Budd Boetticher: THE CIMARRON KID, SEMINOLE
Roger Corman: MACHINE GUN KELLY
Michael Cimino: THUNDERBOLT AND LIGHTFOOT
Walter Hill: JOHNNY HANDSOME, TRESPASS
Luis Bunuel: The Young One
Yasujiro Ozu: The Flavour of Green Tea over Rice
Robert Altman: Images