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Strangers on a Train

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Movie Info & Cast

Synopsis

In one of Alfred Hitchcock's suspense classics, tennis pro Guy Haines (Farley Granger) chances to meet wealthy wastrel Bruno Anthony (Robert Walker) on a train. Having read all about Guy, Bruno is aware that the tennis player is trapped in an unhappy marriage to to wife Miriam (Laura Elliott) and has been seen in the company of senator's daughter Ann Morton (Ruth Roman). Baiting Guy, Bruno reveals that he feels trapped by his hated father (Jonathan Hale). As Guy listens with detached amusement, Bruno discusses the theory of exchange murders. Suppose that Bruno were to murder Guy's wife, and Guy in exchange were to kill Bruno's father? With no known link between the two men, the police would be none the wiser, would they? When he reaches his destination, Guy bids goodbye to Bruno, thinking nothing more of the affable but rather curious young man's homicidal theories. And then, Guy's wife turns up strangled to death. Co-adapted by Raymond Chandler from a novel by Patricia Highsmith, Strangers on a Train perfectly exemplifies Hitchcock's favorite theme of the evil that lurks just below the surface of everyday life and ordinary men.~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

Cast

  • Farley Granger
  • Ruth Roman
  • Robert Walker
  • Leo G. Carroll
  • Patricia Hitchcock
  • Kasey Rogers
  • Marion Lorne
  • Jonathan Hale
  • Howard St. John
  • John Brown

Did You Know?

Trivia

  • The relationship between Raymond Chandler and Sir Alfred Hitchcock was not a happy one. The main bone of contention between the two men was that Chandler's writing paid more attention to character motivation, while Hitchcock was more interested in the visual development and formal structure of the movie laid out in the treatment. In a letter to a studio executive, Chandler said he preferred to work with a director "who realizes that what is said and how it is said is more important than shooting it upside down through a glass of champagne." The two men also had different meeting styles. Hitchcock enjoyed long, rambling off-topic meetings where often the movie would not even be mentioned for hours, while Chandler was strictly business and wanted to get out and get writing. He called the meetings "god-awful jabber sessions which seem to be an inevitable although painful part of the picture business." Chandler was also a hard drinker and a difficult person with whom to get along under the best of circumstances. Interpersonal relations deteriorated rapidly until finally Chandler became openly combative. When Hitchcock arrived at Chandler's house for a story meeting, Chandler hollered from his window, "Look at the fat bastard trying to get out of his car!" When his secretary warned that Hitchcock might be able to hear him, Chandler said he didn't care.
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Goofs

  • There are two tennis balls on the court when Guy is warming up, but they are gone when the game starts.
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Quotes

    • [first lines]
    • Bruno Anthony: I beg your pardon, but aren't you Guy Haines?
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Atom User Reviews

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Metacritic

100

Strangers on a Train is not a psychological study, however, but a first-rate thriller with odd little kinks now and then. It proceeds, as Hitchcock's films so often do, with a sense of private scores being settled just out of sight.

Metacritic review by Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
88

Strangers on a Train, though undoubtedly effective as a classic Hitchcock thriller, is also nothing more complicated than one elongated gay cruise joke-cum-horror story.

Metacritic review by Eric Henderson
Eric Henderson
Slant Magazine