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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I have a theory that you should do everything before you die
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...
Published on 3 Sep 2008 by IWFIcon

versus
5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hitchcock's film is a victim of Hollywood
The novel this film is based on has a simple but delicious premise: two strangers on a train meet and after complaining about one's wife and the other's father, they joke about swapping murders. Except for one of them, it isn't a joke at all... However, this film which some people believe to be a classic is actually just an entertaining well-made bowdlerisation...
Published on 7 Oct 2012 by Miss Scarlett


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I have a theory that you should do everything before you die, 3 Sep 2008
By 
IWFIcon - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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.

As ever with Hitchcock, the film was very different from the Patricia Highsmith novel upon which it was based; in the book Guy actually kills Bruno's father and Bruno's main motivation is not the death of his father but his hope of an amorous relationship with Guy, a strand of the story firmly pushed to the background in the movie, although there are intriguing nuances that hint at it.

A great initial idea, a tight script, a superb villain, some cracking set-pieces and the suspense and tension cranked up to the maximum. Whatever way you look at it, Strangers On A Train is a great slice of Hitchcock action.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Robert Walker goes off the rails in Hitchcock thriller., 27 Feb 2001
By A Customer
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting and clever thriller., 21 Sep 2008
By 
FAMOUS NAME (UNITED KINGDOM) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Strangers On A Train (1951) [DVD] (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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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lean, mean thriller machine, 22 Nov 2000
By 
Hitchcock had had a rough time before making this little beauty. Trying to cope with making colour movies while maintaining a high standard of output while running his own production company while trying to find a replacement for Ingrid Bergman -- all of these things combined to form a 5-year waver in quality.
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.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting and clever thriller., 21 Sep 2008
By 
FAMOUS NAME (UNITED KINGDOM) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
'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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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Step up and introduce yourself to this stranger, 7 Oct 2005
By 
B. Kelly (Berkshire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Strangers On A Train (1951) [DVD] (DVD)
One of the most brilliant things about this DVD is that you can actually get hold of it with some ease. It is a fantastic edition of a great film. The extras - ah Hitchcock with extras, like ice cream WITH the helping of butterscotch sauce - are fantastic. I think it is worth its money for the M. Night Shymalan snippet alone - so many call him hitchcockian, well here's some evidence for you all. The film itself is a treat in store - who can forget the tennis match, will you ever look at Wimbledon again, far too dull in comparison. Now if our railway carriages actually looked like those of Hitchcock's world then we might find ourselves talking to any old Tom, Dick or Alfred, but instead we take our life in our hands just heading for the buffet car. Still, this might teach us a thing or two - for example, don't ever crack jokes with strangers - pretty good advice for London anyway. Although watching this at the weekend might make the uneventful 8.45 to London Cannon Street actually seem appealing.
Buy this for some wonderful Hitchcock fun as only he can offer.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Strange and Wonderful Accomplishment, 28 Feb 2004
This review is from: Strangers On A Train (1951) [DVD] (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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Strangers on a Train is my 2nd favourite Hitchcock film, 4 Nov 2013
Not many people seem to love this film as much as I do, but I really think this is a great one! What makes this film so great is the performance from Robert Walker as Bruno Anthony (which in my opinion is one of the most underrated villain performances ever), the original and interesting premise about switching murders and the climax really makes it one of Hitchcock's best and most suspenseful of all his films in my opinion. There is never a dull moment in this film, as the story seems to move along at a good pace and the pay-off is very satisfying. I really love this one. It's definitely one of his more overlooked films.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hitch does it again, 29 Mar 2013
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There countless reasons to love the films of Alfred Hitchcock and this is among his better films.. if you don't own a copy, you should
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great film and a superb subtext, 9 Feb 2011
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This review is from: Strangers On A Train (1951) [DVD] (DVD)
It is best to think of this film as the second in an two-part series of Hitchcock films in which he explores homosexuality, through a film based on the subject of the perfect murder, starring Farley Granger. The first, of course, was Rope, made just 3 years earlier. In this instalment, the premise of the murder is dreamt up by Robert Walker, whose character bumps into a tennis star (played by Granger) on a train and both discuss their wish to be rid of another individual. Walker's suggestion is to "swap" murders so that each can be rid of their burden whilst the suspicion for the murder eludes the newly free man due to a lack of motive by the apparent killer.

Granger laughs this off and the two part company, only for Walker's character to misunderstand the jovial nature of the conversation and take action which he ought not to have done. The film is then, at least on the surface of it, a study in the descent of a man into psychosis and obsession, with ever more erratic and compulsive behaviour. Underneath this, though, is a second story: that of the spurned lover. The murder which kicks off the events is truly an act of love which is meant to endear Walker's character to Granger's. But when that act of love is not reciprocated, love turns into a stalking obsession and finally, revenge.

In typical Hitchcock style, the suspense just ramps up throughout with some breathtaking spectacular shots. The scenes at the tennis ground are fantastic and Walker's brooding malevolence is very creepy in the sort of way that was copied many years later by Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs. It was sad that this was Walker's last film before he died at the age of 32, as his performance is an all-time great in terms of cinematic villainy.
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Strangers On  A Train (1951) [DVD]
Strangers On A Train (1951) [DVD] by Alfred Hitchcock (DVD - 2001)
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