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Strangers on a Train [VHS] (1951)


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Product details

  • Actors: Farley Granger, Robert Walker, Ruth Roman, Leo G. Carroll, Patricia Hitchcock
  • Directors: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Writers: Ben Hecht, Czenzi Ormonde, Patricia Highsmith, Raymond Chandler, Whitfield Cook
  • Producers: Alfred Hitchcock
  • Format: PAL, Black & White
  • Language: English, French
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • VHS Release Date: 19 Feb. 2001
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004CK3B
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 197,370 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

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 Amazon.co.uk

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

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By IWFIcon VINE VOICE on 3 Sept. 2008
Format: DVD
Guy Haines (Farley Granger) meets Bruno Antony (Robert Walker) on a train and Bruno has the idea for a perfect murder. If two people, who ostensibly have never met, swap murders there will be no apparent motive and nothing to link each to the other's crime. Guy humours Bruno, largely to get rid of him, but Bruno actually carries out the murder of his wife, and then expects him to return the favour. This is the basis of Alfred Hitchcock's Strangers On A Train.

Packed with great set-pieces (the tennis match, the climactic carousel ride), stunning technical shots (we see Miriam Haines' murder through her own glasses) and a superb villain in the form of Robert Walker's Bruno Antony, Strangers On A Train was a return to form for Hitch after three relatively disappointing films both in terms of critical and commercial reaction (Rope, Under Capricorn & Stage Fright).

Hitchcock expertly toys with the audience's emotions throughout the film. Although Bruno is a murderer, we feel more sympathetic to him that we do to Guy at times. After all, Guy would like to have done it himself and shows little emotion at his wife's death. A great moment comes when Bruno decides to blackmail Guy; having kept Guy's lighter he intends to place it at the scene of the murder and whilst we, as viewers, desperately want Guy to finish his tennis match in time (and escape the attentions of the police) in order to give chase to Bruno, we also hope that Bruno, who drops the lighter down a drain on his way to the scene, manages to grab the lighter and continue on his journey. It's also true in general terms that Hitchcock's camera seems to prefer the charismatic and flamboyant Bruno to the more stoic and, well, dull Guy.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 27 Feb. 2001
Format: VHS Tape
A chance meeting in a train carriage brings Robert Walker's deceptively amiable Bruno into conversation with smart society tennis player (Farley Granger). Both men hypothesise on the nature of killing, and Bruno suggests that they exchange a verbal contract of murder, Granger's wife for Walker's father, much to the sportsman's amusement. But when his wife turns up strangled days later and a brief phone call reminds Granger of his obligation he understands, with chilling realisation, the contract was all too real. The premise of the film fits neatly as a parable of a pact with the devil. Walker is a psychopath with his eye on family money, his father the sole remaining obstacle to his inheritance, whilst Granger is in a stale marriage with his eye on another woman. Murder would suit both very well, but conscience pulls Granger back from the brink, his mind unable to cope with the enormity of murder. He is, however, in a battle of wits with a man in every sense his intellectual equal and unrestrained by the need to play to rules. Hitchcock's playground: the human conscience and the merry dance it can lead us, is given good airing here as the metaphorical noose slips tighter around Granger's neck. Both men give good value in their respective roles but you sense that it is Walker, with beguiling charm and understated menace, who is close in spirit to his psychotic character than Granger is to his perplexed nemisis.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By FAMOUS NAME VINE VOICE on 21 Sept. 2008
Format: DVD
'Strangers On A Train' is one the greatest Hitchcock Movies.

Staring Robert Walker (who for some reason makes talking of murder sound 'sexy') plays 'Bruno Anthony' - a rather 'unbalanced' man to say the least, and who has an equally 'dotty' mother played by the marvellous Marion Lorne (remember the 'dotty' aunt in 'Bewitched'?)

He meets a famous Tennis Player, 'Guy Haines' on a train and speaks of 'switching' murders - the disposing of two different people each of them could do without, but 'Haines' does not take him seriously - bigger fool him!

This also stars Patricia Hitchcock (daughter of Alfred) who, though has a somewhat smaller role, nevertheless makes a lasting impression.

There are quite a few dramatic scenes in this, and one of the most exciting ever has to be the 'Merry-Go-Round' finale!

This is a movie one can watch over and over again and never tire.

Bonus material includes a silent Newsreel featuring Hitchcock.

NOTE: Surprisingly, this has not been re-mastered.

TRIVIA: Robert Walker who took the lead was to die the same year this movie was made.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By "funkmaster-p" on 28 Feb. 2004
Format: DVD
This film is absolute Hitchcock. The suspense, the tension, the whole atmosphere is mouth watering. The dialogue is utterly stunning and the cinematography is quite brilliant. I am running out of superlatives to describe this film but one more superb aspect must be mentioned; the performance by Robert Walker. As the slightly deranged, yet extremely intelligent, young man Walker is absolutely spectacular. His mannerism is so incredibly convincing it is shocking and without him my rating of this film would be completely different.
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.
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