Strangers on a Train

Strangers on a Train

Strangers on a Train

Alfred Hitchcock's tense psychological thriller based on Patricia Highsmith's novel of the same name, adapted to the screen by Raymond Chandler. Guy Haines (Farley Granger, who also starred in Hitchcock's Rope) is an amateur tennis star who plans to divorce his unfaithful wife Miriam (Kasey Rogers) so he can marry the beautiful Anne (Ruth Roman). He meets Bruno Anthony, a nosy interloper, on a train (played by Robert Walker, who died of accidental drug overdose not long after the film was released). After probing Guy's private life, Bruno proposes an exchange: that he kill Guy's cheating wife and, in return, Guy kill his father.

Guy flees the train apalled, but the ambiguous end to the conversation leads Bruno to think a deal has been struck. Bruno then upholds his end of the deal - murdering Miriam - and becomes mad when Guy won't return the favour. As Bruno begins to plot his revenge, Anne and Guy must do what they can to stop him framing Guy for Miriam's murder.

Strangers on a Train features signature Hitchcock set pieces, such as the tennis watching scene where all heads are following the ball - except Bruno's, who stares straight ahead at Guy. A strong homosexual sub-text runs through the film, with the director claiming he edited a less "seductive" version of the film for American audiences. 

1951Rating: M, Low level violence101 minsUSA
DramaThrillerClassic

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Variety

Variety

press

Hitchcock embroiders the plot into a gripping, palm-sweating piece of suspense.

Total Film

Total Film

press

With typical consummate verve, Hitch unfolds a story filled with twists, turns and dramatic contrasts.

5.0
Time Out

Time Out

press

Hitchcock erects a web of guilt around Granger, who 'agreed' to his wife's murder, a murder that suits him very well, and structures his film around a series of set pieces, ending with a paroxysm of violence on a circus carousel.

The New York Times

The New York Times

press

...his basic premise of fear fired by menace is so thin and so utterly unconvincing that the story just does not stand.

Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

press

Hitchcock was above all the master of great visual set pieces, and there are several famous sequences in Strangers on a Train.

Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

The power of the story - adapted from the novel by Patricia Highsmith - lies in its simplicity, and Hitchcock's piles on the sinister layers as only he can.

4.0
BBC

BBC

press

Hitchcock's favourite device of an ordinary man caught in an ever-tightening web of fear plunges Guy into one of the director's most fiendishly effective movies.

5.0
Variety

Variety

press

Hitchcock embroiders the plot into a gripping, palm-sweating piece of suspense.

Total Film

Total Film

press

With typical consummate verve, Hitch unfolds a story filled with twists, turns and dramatic contrasts.

5.0
Time Out

Time Out

press

Hitchcock erects a web of guilt around Granger, who 'agreed' to his wife's murder, a murder that suits him very well, and structures his film around a series of set pieces, ending with a paroxysm of violence on a circus carousel.

The New York Times

The New York Times

press

...his basic premise of fear fired by menace is so thin and so utterly unconvincing that the story just does not stand.

Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

press

Hitchcock was above all the master of great visual set pieces, and there are several famous sequences in Strangers on a Train.

Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

press

The power of the story - adapted from the novel by Patricia Highsmith - lies in its simplicity, and Hitchcock's piles on the sinister layers as only he can.

4.0
BBC

BBC

press

Hitchcock's favourite device of an ordinary man caught in an ever-tightening web of fear plunges Guy into one of the director's most fiendishly effective movies.

5.0

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