Two young men kill prep-school friend, just for the thrill of it, and
challenge themselves by inviting friends and family to their apartment
afterward—with the body hidden on the premises. Hitchcock's first color
film was shot in ten-minute takes to provide a seamless flow of movement,
but it remains today what it was then: an interesting, highly theatrical
experiment. Inspired by the real-life Leopold-Loeb murder case. Patrick
Hamilton's play was adapted by Hume Cronyn and scripted by Arthur Laurents.
The film was shot in a series of 8 minute continuous takes (the maximum
amount of film that a camera could hold). At the end of each segment
the camera zooms in on a dark object, ready to zoom out for the start
of the next segment. Most of the props were on castors and the crew
had to wheel them out of the way as the camera moved around the set.
Hitchcock only managed to shoot roughly one segment
per day. The last 4 or 5 segments had to be completely re-shot because
Hitch wasn't happy with the colour of the sunset.
Hitchcock's trademark can be seen on a neon sign in
the view from the apartment window.