The plot of Alfred Hithcock’s 1948 film is that two young men — who in no way share The Love That Dare Not Speak its Name (at least in 1948) and who bear No Resemblance Whatsoever to Leopold and Loeb — get their Nietzsche on and kill a fellow classmate to assert their uberman-esque superiority. (It’s no coincidence that Rope was made shortly after WWII and directed by a man who had filmed Belsen.) They then throw a swank dinner party with Jimmy Stewart as one of their guests, with the remains of their victim hidden inside a trunk, within plain sight. The above trailer is sort of a red herring, as the young man who stars in it doesn’t make it past the end of the opening credits of the actual movie. And the film itself is somewhat of a curiosity, as Hitchcock shot it, his first color movie, in a series of 20-minute continuous takes, both to build tension, and emphasize its stage play origins.
Flash-forward sixty-odd years to a story reported this week by NBC-Miami, which if true, echoes Rope’s chief plot-point remarkably well — albeit likely remarkably unintentionally:
A relative of the Port St Lucie teen accused of beating his parents to death with a hammer before throwing a house party says the murders have shocked and devastated the “normal family.”
Dave Zanoni, whose wife is the niece of victims Blake and Mary-Jo Hadley, said he couldn’t believe it when he picked up the phone and heard of the shocking deaths.
“When we received the phone call, we thought it was a terrible car accident or something, we had no idea it was going to be what it turned out to be,” Zanoni said. “I just can’t believe it, I’m waiting to wake up from the nightmare.”
Police say that nightmare unfolded Saturday, when 17-year-old Tyler Hadley allegedly attacked his parents with a hammer. By the time it was over, both were dead, having suffered blunt force trauma to the head and torso.
Just as shocking as the alleged murders, police say the teen threw a house party just hours after the deaths, with between 40 and 60 people attending, apparently unaware the Hadleys’ bodies were behind the locked door to the master bedroom.
Curiously, this isn’t the first time that elements from Rope’s plot echoed in real life in recent years.
Related: See David Swindle’s PJ Lifestyle post in response to this post here.