- Purchase any product from the Film and TV Store sold by Amazon.co.uk and receive £1 to use on any music download in our MP3 Store. Here's how (terms and conditions apply)
The essential plot behind the film is that of two strangers meeting on a train (one being the slightly insane Walker) with one of the two unwittingly landing himself in a difficult situation, where he finds he is an accessory to murder with nowhere to hide. As with all Hitchcock films it is the suspense that makes the film an absolute masterpiece of cinema. However, with this film many other elements (mainly Walker) push the bar even higher giving an indescribably good product.
The only minor let down in this film was Farley Granger's part which I found to be lacking slightly. This, however, cannot detract from its 5 star rating and this is still a must buy film, especially if you are a fan of the classics.
Strangers on a Train sees Hitchcock dump all that guff, head back to black and white, and pick up some favourite themes. The result is a lean, effective, engaging thriller.
Two strangers meet on a train, each of whom has someone they would rather get rid of. The more unbalanced of the two (Bruno, played by Robert Walker) hits on the idea that they could perform each others' murders and keep schtum -- problem solved. Trouble is, Bruno goes ahead with the idea, and expects whiter-than-white tennis ace Guy to follow suit.
Hitchcock deals with the chaotic strands of the story superbly, with some very strong themes helping to knit everything together. The criss-cross of the railway lines represent the converging storylines throughout. Walker is frightening and funny as the unhinged Bruno, with a healthy dose of camp suggesting a more primal obsession with Guy, very much in the Cape Fear mould. The theme of doubles is also carried through, with Bruno frequently presented as Guy's darker-than-dark side.
There are some excellent set-pieces, the murder of Guy's truly horrible wife being one of the best, and the climactic merry-go-round scene genuinely thrilling and convincing, even half a century on.
Great, harmful entertainment.