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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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(screen play), (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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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:

A girl in love with young America's idol--and a good-looking stranger in search of sensation--that's how it all began..! Warner Bros. bring a pounding new tempo to motion picture entertainment! 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

The relationship between Raymond Chandler and Alfred Hitchcock was not a happy one. The main bone of contention between the two men was that Chandler's writing paid more attention to character motivation while Hitchcock was more interested in the visual development and formal structure of the movie laid out in the treatment. In a letter to a studio executive, Chandler said he preferred to work with a director "who realizes that what is said and how it is said is more important than shooting it upside down through a glass of champagne." The two men also had different meeting styles. Hitchcock enjoyed long, rambling off-topic meetings where often the film would not even be mentioned for hours, while Chandler was strictly business and wanted to get out and get writing. He called the meetings "god-awful jabber sessions which seem to be an inevitable although painful part of the picture business." Chandler was also a hard drinker and a difficult person to get along with under the best of circumstances. Interpersonal relations deteriorated rapidly until finally Chandler became openly combative. When Hitchcock arrived at Chandler's home for a story meeting, Chandler hollered from his window, "Look at the fat bastard trying to get out of his car!" When his secretary warned that Hitchcock might be able to hear him, Chandler said he didn't care. See more »

Goofs

As Bruno approaches the fairground, following Miriam, the position of his hands changes between shots, from clasped behind his back, to lighting a cigarette. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in Pretty Little Liars: Stolen Kisses (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Bill Grogan's Goat
(uncredited)
Traditional children's song
Sung by John Brown on the train
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

One of his best

This is a little known Hitchcock movie but I think it is one of his best. I like how he inserts humor into this crime drama. For example the small boy pointing a gun at the Bruno character at the carnival and the Bruno character popping his balloon with a lit cigarette. And there is the comic scene at the tennis courts where the audience in unison moves there heads back and forth following the ball except for Bruno who glances straight away at the tennis player.

Hitchcock plays suspense masterfully as in the tunnel of love sequence early in the film. We know that Bruno plans to murder the woman and we 'see' that is why he is following her into the tunnel. We hear a scream and think the deed is done when voila! the girl comes sailing out with her two admirers. Then there is one of the finest scenes in all movie history: the final scene on the carousel. Hitchcock manages suspense on many non-stop levels: the two protagonists fighting each other, a small boy who nearly falls from the ride as it whirls at tremendous speed, and the elderly man who crawls beneath the carousel to try and get at the brakes. Although I think the end of the scene was a bit over the top it was masterful to that point and I will never forget it.

I was surprised to see Ruth Roman in the lead. Usually Hitchcock has blondes for his leads, but the commentator on the TMC channel told us Hitch had to use her because she was under contract to the studio where he filmed it.

I highly recommend this obscure Hitchcock masterpiece and give 9.99 out of 10.


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