I actually like Hitchcock's "Rope" more than most of his other movies. Kathy Shaidle notes the applicability of the movie to today's cultural wars. First, a brief overview of the movie. The main character of the movie is Rupert Cadell, played by Jimmy Stewart. Cadell had taught a Nietzschean style philosophy wherein superior people should not be constrained by the laws and morals of lesser mortals. The movie opens with former students Brandon (John Dall) and Philip (Farley Granger) murdering a third student, and "friend," David, and stuffing his body in a large chest. The chest, covered with a table cloth, becomes the center-piece to a party being thrown in David's honor, to which Brandon and Phillip have invited Cadell, David's fiancee and his parents. It is heavily suggested through the movie that Brandon and Philip are gay, and hinted that Cadell was as well. During the gathering, while everyone wonder's where David is, Brandon and Cadell engage in a conversation laced with philosophical discussion and argument until Cadell realizes that Brandon and Phillip have murdered David, and open the trunk. Cadell defends his teachings, at the end, by claiming that it was just theory, not something to actually be acted upon.
After he correctly deduces that Brandon and Philip have murdered David — have destroyed a family to prove a philosophical point, a philosophy they imbibed at Rupert’s feet — Rupert delivers a desperate, incoherent disavowal of their actions, and his own beliefs.
Not even Jimmy Stewart at his most high-pitched and passionate can uncouple ideas from actions, and actions from consequences.
(Interestingly, one of the modern American Right’s ur-texts, Richard Weaver’s Ideas Have Consequences, was released the same year as Rope.)
We on the Right tsk a lot about the left’s apparent ignorance of the Law of Unintended Consequences.
Except we’re the fools who persist in believing that our political opponents are well-meaning if misguided individuals, and that the catastrophic “consequences” of their actions are all “unintended.”
If you don’t believe gay activists intended all along to destroy marriage and the family; to proudly, publicly violate laws with impunity while persecuting “homophobic” bumpkins who refuse to submit to their increasingly absurd demands; to adopt fascist techniques to acquire imaginary “rights”; to have their cake, eat it too, and force you to bake it, or else — you haven’t been paying attention to the clues.