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Strangers on a Train (1951)

A psychopath forces a tennis star to comply with his theory that two strangers can get away with murder. (PG, 101 min.)


Tuesday, June 6, 2023

7:00 PM

Alfred Hitchcock directed this classic suspense tale - widely considered one of the master's best works - tapping into the evil that lies hidden just beneath the surface of each of us. When two strangers - tennis star Guy Haines (Farley Granger), whose wife will not grant him a divorce, and wealthy but deranged young Bruno Anthony (Robert Walker), who wants to be rid of his father - happen to meet on a train from Washington to New York, the conversation casually turns to a possibly perfect crime: what if each committed murder for the other? There is nothing to connect the two men. No apparent motive for either killing. When the trip ends, Guy believes the conversation was hypothetical, and that he will never see Bruno again. Then his wife is murdered...and Brunoreturns for payback. Hard-boiled crime novelist Raymond Chandler co-wrote the screenplay of this film adaptation of the novel by Patricia Highsmith. [Warner Brothers]

Starring: Farley Granger, Robert Walker, Ruth Roman
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Genre(s): Film-Noir, Drama, Crime

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"Magnificent absurdist crime drama from the master of suspense."

— David Parkinson, Empire

"It's intensely enjoyable--in some ways the best of Hitchcock's American films."

— Pauline Kael, The New Yorker

"Hitchcock's favourite device of an ordinary man caught in an ever-tightening web of fear plunges Guy into one of the director's most fiendishly effective movies."

— Almar Haflidason,

"Given a good basis for a thriller in the Patricia Highsmith novel and a first-rate script, Hitchcock embroiders the plot into a gripping, palm-sweating piece of suspense."

— Variety Staff, Variety

"A black comedy, really, based on Patricia Highsmith's source novel - remains a cracking piece of entertainment. It is shot with all his usual invention and style, and a couple of scenes rank among the director's most visually memorable."

— Marc Lee, The Telegraph

"Alfred Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train is an expertly made thriller with fluid camera work, dark humor and enough cliff-hanging build up to keep you biting your nails until there's nothing left. Easily one of Hitch's most underrated films."

— Jeremy Lebens, We Got This Covered

"Strangers on a Train is also simply a great thriller, yet another illustration of Hitchcock’s awe-inspiring ability to convey more with a single image than most directors can with minutes upon minutes of belabored set pieces."

— Chuck Bowen, Slant Magazine

"Strangers on a Train ranks at the top of Hitchcock's most accomplished works, a masterpiece that is so carefully constructed and its characters so well developed that the viewer is quickly intimate and comfortable with the story long before Bruno turns killer."

— Staff, TV Guide Magazine

"Director Hitchcock toys with this plot as lovingly as the crack-brained murderer, plays it for wry irony and unexpected humor as well as suspense. But he seems less interested in making his audiences believe in the story's outrageously rigged situations than in teasing, tricking and dazzling them with the masterful touch of a talented cinematic showoff."

— Time Staff, Time