Guy Haines (Farley Granger) and Bruno Antony (Robert Walker) meet by chance in a train carriage. After some idle chat in which it transpires that each man has someone in their lives they would like to dispose of, Bruno proposes that he kills Guy's wife, in return for Guy murdering Bruno's father. Guy is appalled, but when his wife is murdered he realises that Bruno is intent on carrying out the 'deal', whether Guy wants to or not.
From its cleverly choreographed opening sequence to its heart-stopping climax on a rampant carousel, this 1951 Hitchcock classic readily earns its reputation as one of the director's finest examples of timeless cinematic suspense. It's not just a ripping-good thriller but a film student's delight and a perversely enjoyable battle of wits between tennis pro Guy (Farley Granger) and his mysterious, sycophantic admirer, Bruno (Robert Walker), who proposes a "criss-cross" scheme of traded murders. Bruno agrees to kill Guy's unfaithful wife, in return for which Guy will (or so it seems) kill Bruno's spiteful father. With an emphasis on narrative and visual strategy, Hitchcock controls the escalating tension with a master's flair for cinematic design, and the plot (coscripted by Raymond Chandler) is so tightly constructed that you'll be white-knuckled even after multiple viewings. Strangers on a Train
remains one of Hitchcock's crowning achievements and a suspenseful classic that never loses its capacity to thrill and delight. --Jeff Shannon