That said, one thing about Rope struck me quite forcibly. In fact, it astonished me. About ten minutes or so into the first reel, Hitchcock’s wandering camera came to rest in front of a painting hanging in the dining room of the elaborate breakaway set on which Rope was filmed. As Dall and Farley Granger chatted away, I said to myself, “By God, that’s a Milton Avery.” To be exact, it appears to be a portrait of March Avery, the artist’s daughter, painted some time in the mid-to-late Forties. What’s more, it looks like the real thing, not a reproduction. Rope dates from 1948, the same year that Avery made “March at a Table,” a copy of which hangs in the Teachout Museum. Hence it’s well within the realm of possibility that I saw exactly what I thought I saw.
Why was I surprised? Because one rarely if ever runs across important modern American paintings in Hollywood movies. When a painting is seen in some millionaire’s living room, it’s almost always a fairly obvious copy of a French Impressionist or post-impressionist canvas….
Read the whole thing here.