Hitchcock's study of the guilt that taints the human condition is just one cinematic masterstroke after another
The master of suspense did not care whodunnit. For Hitch, the question was all but academic: to be alive is to stained. Culpability comes with conception.
It's hard to think of any adult in his films – the great ones, anyway – whose copybook has not a smudge, whose odd blots don't mushroom and bleed, soak their coats and cloud their judgement. And, for me, his primary preoccupation was never more brilliantly realised than in Strangers on a Train
, the murder-swap thriller from 1951.
To refresh: straight-batting, social-climbing tennis star Guy (Farley Granger
) has a chance encounter on a train with sardonic playboy Bruno (Robert Walker
). Bruno knows Guy is romancing a senator's daughter (played by Ruth Roman
) – and indeed is eager to move into politics – but can't get a divorce from his unfaithful wife, Miriam.