Short Film Ratings (Classic Special #3)

Short Film Ratings (Classic Special)

Another installment of a Classic Special of my Short Film Ratings, my first one of 2017. The films that I have watched have been Rope, The Sting and To Catch a Thief.



Released: 1948
IMDb Rating: 8.0
Starring: James Stewart, John Dall, Farley Granger.

Two young men strangle their “inferior” classmate, hide his body in their apartment, and invite his friends and family to a dinner party as a means to challenge the “perfection” of their crime.

Humpo Show Rating | 3.5 / 5

An aspect of Rope that I disliked was the acting on the part of Phillip (Granger). Phillip’s overacting and overreacting to the murder when they were trying to cover up the murder was implausible given that he planned and executed a murder. All he had to do was ‘act’ like nothing was wrong for an hour, which he failed. His character has always on edge, sweating like a pig and prone to outbursts to minor provocation which raised suspicions from Rupert (Stewart).

I enjoyed the premise as it is something that seems possible to many, but no-one enacts on those thoughts. The plan was well thought out and despite Phillip’s acting on the evening and Brandon’s (Shaw) flaunting and innuendos to the crime were which dragged the film down a bit as the pair were never given a chance of covering up the murder, there was never really any chance that they would get away with it. Hitchcock is the master of suspense, but he missed a trick in this film as he almost had the hand-brake on the pair in order to make sure they got caught.

The Sting

Released: 1973
IMDb Rating: 8.3
Starring: Robert Redford, Paul Newman, Robert Shaw, Robert Earl Jones, Charles Durning. 

In Chicago in September 1936, a young con man seeking revenge for his murdered partner teams up with a master of the big con to win a fortune from a criminal banker. Nominated for 10 Oscars, winning 7 including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. 

Humpo Show Rating | 4.5 / 5

The Sting is a staple of the heist genre. The ending is wonderful film-making, and for a 1973 audience it would have been heart-stopping stuff (my mum attested to this as she watched this at the cinema when she was younger with a friend who dropped her drink!), however in 2017 we have had the pleasure and curse of seeing many heist films, TV shows and news stories that the ending doesn’t have the same impact for a 70’s audience as we expect such things nowadays.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Sting; the characters were well developed, the plot was rock solid and the heist was excellently constructed. The various stages of ‘the sting’ were well separated and performed perfectly by all parts. For all heists, there has to be an element of doubt thrown in to make the heist seem improbable, and the inclusion of the ‘FBI’ was believable and a great inclusion to make the audience feel a tad nervous about the heist and the outcome of it.


To Catch a Thief 

Released: 1955
IMDb Rating: 7.5
Starring: Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, John Williams, Jessie Royce Landis, Brigitte Auber. 

When a reformed jewel thief is suspected of returning to his former occupation, he must ferret out the real thief in order to prove his innocence. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. It won the an Academy Award for the Best Cinematography.

Humpo Show Rating | 4.0 

I absolutely adore Grace Kelly. I have seen her in a few things before, and she is once again marvelous in her role in To Catch a Thief. She plays the love interest of Grant’s John Robie, the retired master cat burglar. The premise is strong and Grant plays the part of the criminal in typical classy and suave fashion as his character tries his best to catch a copycat cat burglar.

I felt that Robie and the copycat burglar took a bit of a backseat in this, as the focus was predominantly on Frances (Kelly) and Robie’s burgeoning love interest with one another. The dialogue between them was expertly crafted and came across as natural with plenty of witty retorts, innuendos and wonderful one liners. To Catch a Thief steals (oh Richard) the show in romantic thriller genre.


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