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Strangers on a Train (1951)

A psychotic socialite confronts a pro tennis star with a theory on how two complete strangers can get away with murder - a theory that he plans to implement.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Miriam Joyce Haines (as Laura Elliott)
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Mr. Antony
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Police Capt. Turley
John Brown ...
Prof. Collins
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Robert Gist ...
Det. Leslie Hennessey
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Storyline

Bruno Anthony thinks he has the perfect plot to rid himself of his hated father and when he meets tennis player Guy Haines on a train, he thinks he's found the partner he needs to pull it off. His plan is relatively simple. Two strangers each agree to kill someone the other person wants disposed of. For example, Guy could kill his father and he could get rid of Guy's wife Miriam, freeing him to marry Anne Morton, the beautiful daughter of a U.S. Senator. Guy dismisses it all out of hand but Bruno goes ahead with his half of the 'bargain' and disposes of Miriam. When Guy balks, Bruno makes it quite clear that he will plant evidence to implicate Guy in her murder if he doesn't get rid of his father. Guy had also made some unfortunate statements about Miriam after she had refused him a divorce. It all leads the police to believe Guy is responsible for the murder, forcing him to deal with Bruno's mad ravings. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You'll be in the grip of love's strangest trip! See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some violence and tension | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

30 June 1951 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alfred Hitchcock's 'Strangers on a Train'  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,200,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£23,764 (UK) (13 August 1999)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut) | (preview)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Similar to the scene of Bruno at the Morton's party, Alfred Hitchcock enjoyed showing people in social situations how to strangle someone. Also, a famous sequence of photos by Philippe Halsman shows Hitchcock doing various things to a bust of his daughter, including strangling her. See more »

Goofs

During the initial conversation on the train, Bruno's cigarette vanishes from his mouth mid-sentence. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Bruno Anthony: I beg your pardon, but aren't you Guy Haines?
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Connections

Referenced in Victim of Love (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Carolina in the Morning
(1922) (uncredited)
Music by Walter Donaldson
Played when buying ice cream at the amusement park
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
It's 'all change' for the final act.
25 August 2013 | by (Hampshire, England) – See all my reviews

Strangers on a Train boasts a neat central idea (the 'swapping' of murders), several classic Hitchcockian moments, and a fine performance from Robert Walker as psychotic socialite Bruno; but despite these admirable qualities the film fails to qualify as a complete success thanks to a severely flawed final act that makes one wonder what the hell Hitch was thinking.

Farley Granger's tennis-pro Guy Haines being coerced into discussing murder by charismatic lunatic Bruno—all well and good. The nutter carrying out his side of the plan as discussed—great stuff. Haines afraid to go to the police for fear of being implicated in a murderous pact with a clearly deranged Bruno—hey, why not? People don't always make the wisest of decisions when under pressure.

The whole ridiculous fairground finale, however, cannot be so easily brushed aside. Bruno develops telescopic arms, the police act like bumbling trigger-happy fools, and a merry-go-round achieves warp-speed before a toothless old guy confuses a self-destruct lever for the brake. It's like something out of a fever-dream—illogical, perplexing and utterly deranged—a dreadful way to end what was proving to be a very enjoyable thriller.

6.5 out of 10, rounded up to 7 for IMDb.


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