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Strangers on a Train
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Strangers on a Train (1951) More at IMDbPro »

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

Overview

User Rating:
8.1/10   73,519 votes »
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Down 4% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Raymond Chandler (screen play) and
Czenzi Ormonde (screen play) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Strangers on a Train on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
30 June 1951 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Now a very special Alfred Hitchcock event! A hundred and one breathless minutes of matchless suspense! See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Magnificent absurdist fantasy. See more (246 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Farley Granger ... Guy Haines

Ruth Roman ... Anne Morton

Robert Walker ... Bruno Antony

Leo G. Carroll ... Sen. Morton

Patricia Hitchcock ... Barbara Morton

Kasey Rogers ... Miriam Joyce Haines (as Laura Elliott)

Marion Lorne ... Mrs. Antony
Jonathan Hale ... Mr. Antony
Howard St. John ... Police Capt. Turley
John Brown ... Prof. Collins

Norma Varden ... Mrs. Cunningham
Robert Gist ... Det. Leslie Hennessey
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Joel Allen ... Policeman (uncredited)
Murray Alper ... Boatman (uncredited)
Monya Andre ... Dowager (uncredited)
Brooks Benedict ... Tennis Umpire (uncredited)
Al Bridge ... Tennis Judge (uncredited)
John Butler ... Blind Man (uncredited)
Leonard Carey ... Anthonys' Butler (uncredited)
Edward Clark ... Miriam's Boss (uncredited)
Jack Cushingham ... Fred Reynolds (uncredited)
John Daheim ... Detective at Merry-Go-Round (uncredited)

John Doucette ... Det. Hammond (uncredited)
Roy Engel ... Policeman (uncredited)
Herbert Evans ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Franklyn Farnum ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Tommy Farrell ... Miriam's Boyfriend (uncredited)
Sam Flint ... Train Passenger Requesting Light (uncredited)
Edward Hearn ... Lt. Campbell (uncredited)
Al Hill ... Carnival Game Proprietor (uncredited)
Harry Hines ... Man Under Merry-Go-Round (uncredited)

Alfred Hitchcock ... Man Boarding Train Carrying a Double Bass (uncredited)
Mary Alan Hokanson ... Secretary (uncredited)
Edna Holland ... Mrs. Joyce (uncredited)
J. Louis Johnson ... Mortons' Butler (uncredited)
Mike Lally ... Detective at Carnival (uncredited)
Perc Launders ... Police Desk Sergeant (uncredited)
Louis Lettieri ... Boy with Balloon (uncredited)
George Magrill ... Policeman at Merry-Go-Round (uncredited)
Charles Marsh ... Bystander at Drain (uncredited)
Paul McGuire ... Man on Train (uncredited)

David McMahon ... Bystander at Drain (uncredited)
Charles Meredith ... Judge Donahue (uncredited)
Ralph Moody ... Seedy Man at Carnival (uncredited)
Roland Morris ... Miriam's Boyfriend (uncredited)
Odette Myrtil ... Madame Darville (uncredited)
Barry Norton ... Tennis Match Spectator (uncredited)
Paul Panzer ... Bystander at Merry-Go-Round (uncredited)
Minna Phillips ... Dowager (uncredited)
Georges Renavent ... Monsieur Darville (uncredited)
Suzanne Ridgeway ... Bystander at Merry-Go-Round Wreck (uncredited)
Dick Ryan ... Minister (uncredited)
Charles Sherlock ... Cop (uncredited)
Janet Stewart ... Girl (uncredited)
Shirley Tegge ... Girl (uncredited)
Laura Treadwell ... Mrs. Anderson (uncredited)

Joe Warfield ... Soda Jerk (uncredited)
Howard Washington ... Waiter on Train (uncredited)
Dick Wessel ... Bill (uncredited)
Robert Williams ... Bystander at Drain (uncredited)
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Directed by
Alfred Hitchcock 
 
Writing credits
Raymond Chandler (screen play) and
Czenzi Ormonde (screen play)

Whitfield Cook (adaptation by)

Patricia Highsmith (from the novel by)

Ben Hecht  uncredited

Produced by
Alfred Hitchcock .... producer (uncredited)
 
Original Music by
Dimitri Tiomkin (original music by)
 
Cinematography by
Robert Burks (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
William H. Ziegler (film editor) (as William Ziegler)
 
Art Direction by
Ted Haworth  (as Edward S. Haworth)
 
Set Decoration by
George James Hopkins 
 
Makeup Department
Gordon Bau .... makeup artist
Bill Phillips .... makeup (uncredited)
Myrl Stoltz .... hairdresser (uncredited)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Mel Dellar .... assistant director (uncredited)
C. Carter Gibson .... second assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Armor Marlowe .... props (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Dolph Thomas .... sound
 
Special Effects by
Hans F. Koenekamp .... special effects (as H.F. Koenekamp)
 
Stunts
Paul Baxley .... stunts (uncredited)
John Daheim .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Bud Graybill .... still photographer (uncredited)
Norman C. McClay .... best boy (uncredited)
Harold Noyes .... grip (uncredited)
Charles O'Bannon .... gaffer (uncredited)
William Schurr .... second camera (uncredited)
Leonard J. South .... assistant camera (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Leah Rhodes .... wardrobe
Robert O'Dell .... wardrobe: men (uncredited)
Margaret Ross .... wardrobe: women (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Ray Heindorf .... musical director
 
Other crew
Barbara Keon .... production associate
Jack Cushingham .... technical advisor (uncredited)
Rita Michaels .... script supervisor (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production Companies
  • Warner Bros. (presents) (produced by) (A Warner Bros.-First National Picture) (as Warner Bros. Pictures)
DistributorsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Alfred Hitchcock's 'Strangers on a Train'" - USA (complete title)
See more »
MPAA:
Rated PG for some violence and tension (new rating) (re-issue) (1996)
Runtime:
101 min | Portugal:96 min (cut version) | 103 min (preview version) | West Germany:92 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:M (DVD rating) | Australia:PG (TV rating) | Brazil:16 | Canada:PG (Ontario) | Finland:K-16 | France:U (re-release) | Germany:12 (DVD) | Italy:16+ | Netherlands:18 (original rating) (1951) | Norway:16 | Portugal:M/12 | South Africa:PG | South Korea:12 (DVD rating) (2004) | Spain:13 | Sweden:15 (cut) (orginal rating) | Sweden:15 (uncut) (1964) | UK:PG | USA:TV-PG (TV rating) | USA:Approved (certificate #14946) | USA:PG (new rating) (re-issue) (1996) | West Germany:16 (nf)

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Alfred Hitchcock bought the rights to the original novel anonymously to keep the price down, and got them for just $7,500.See more »
Goofs:
Factual errors: Early in the film, when the train pulls into the station, the NHRR coaches are the newer, smooth sided coaches, commonly referred to as American Flyer Coaches, because they were modeled by American Flyer, which was located in New Haven. When the passengers exited the train, the coaches were the older coaches, referred to as Heavy Weight Coaches.See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
Bruno Anthony:I beg your pardon, but aren't you Guy Haines?
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in I Am Legend (2007)See more »
Soundtrack:
The Band Played OnSee more »

FAQ

Is 'Strangers on a Train' based on a book?
What is 'Strangers on a Train' about?
How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
See more »
125 out of 167 people found the following review useful.
Magnificent absurdist fantasy., 29 September 1999
Author: Darragh O' Donoghue (hitch1899_@hotmail.com) from Dublin, Ireland

One would have expected Hitchcock's return to major studio filmmaking to err on the side of chastened caution. Surely few expected his most riotous, unrestrained film, a gleeful melange of vicious black comedy, exciting suspense, mocking manipulation, and astonishing flights of fancy. But that is precisely what they got: STRANGERS ON A TRAIN.

What is remarkable is how much Bruno's transgression disrupts the world of the film. Much has been made of the masterly crosscutting motif, but its immediate effect is to completely obstruct the straight line of progress Guy is making of his life, and hence the society he represents or is eager to join. Guy is the archetypal American, the working-class boy made good, moving in influential circles, athletic, successful, handsome. Bruno is his destructive opposite, gay, decadent, 'European' (he lives off his father, in a Big House, and just lounges about dreaming of murder). Bruno's life is one of repetition, circularity, whereas Guy moves straight ahead. It is Bruno's achievement to move Guy into his realm (represented by the merry-go-round) and force HIM to transgress (break the law, hope for murder (Bruno's)).

Bruno is quite literally fighting patriarchy. All the authority figures in the film are criticised - Bruno's father, a man whose brutality we get a glimpse of, but the true horror of which is constantly alluded to in the film (especially in Aunt Clara's paintings - that incredibly intense negative energy must come from somewhere); Anna's incredibly Machiavellian, self-serving father; the insensitive judge who thinks nothing of lunching after an execution; the tennis commentator whose smugly authorative comments are always mistaken. Far from being the mother-hater of legend, Hitch, as Robin Wood perceived, is deeply hostile to fathers and patriarchy.

Bruno's transgression turns the world topsy-turvy. This is Hitch's most surreal film. Whenever Guy is in his plot, he is filmed straight, with conventionally romantic music. But whenever Bruno intrudes, the atmosphere becomes carnivalesque, bizarre, much more fun. This is Hitch's first truly American film, revelling in the primitive detritus of Americana. Grown men puncture little boys' balloons, or try to throw them off merry-go-rounds. Distinguished professors of mathematics sing about goats on trains. Elderly society matrons are strangled at elegant soirees. Washington is filmed like a series of spare lines in a vast desert under a huge sky, like a haunting Dali painting. There is one of the greatest, and funniest, scenes in all cinema when we see a motionless, smiling Bruno in a sea of turning heads at a tennis match, an image worthy of Magritte. Just look at any scene with Bruno in it, and watch it derail into the bizarre.

Phalluses abound in the most ridiculous permutations - check all those balloons (Hitch had obviously just seen THE THIRD MAN) - as well as in more staid environs: Washington will never look the same again. STRANGERS is also, VERTIGO notwithstanding, Hitch's most overtly sexual film - as well as the phalluses, there is the sustained homoeroticism, the remarkable play with 'riding' horses; the gobsmacking fellatio joke when Hitch's daughter spills powder over the policeman.

And yet Hitch doesn't stint on good old suspense. In the very proper endeavour to show what a great artist he was, critics tend to overlook what made him famous in the first place. Much has been made of Bruno as a prototype of Norman Bates, and Hitch plays merry havoc on audience identification, willing Bruno into murder. There is a hilariously painful sequence where Bruno loses the lighter with which he intends to frame Guy down a drain. The gasps of tension and sighs of relief on the part of the audience I was a part of in support of an insane murderer is inherently funny, slightly disturbing, and highly revealing about our true reactions to conformity and success. And Hitch milks it with callous glee - listen to the mocking music and exagerrated compositions, and kick yourself for taking it all so seriously.

STRANGERS is one of Hitch's five best films, and therefore one of the greatest things in cinema. The dialogue is so strange and brilliant, I can't believe it wasn't written by Chandler. Patricia Hitchcock is a wonderful imp, standing in for her cheeky father as she taunts Guy. The fairground finale is a remarkable, dizzying fusion of exciting, tense set-piece, black comedy and symbolic site. If Bruno's final words condemn him to hell (according to the Catholic precepts Hitch is supposed to embody: compare with a similar ending in THE KILLERS), we applaud his integrity, infinitely preferable to Guy's debased serving of self.

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Overrated? rzajac
Robert Walker's under appreciated masterful performance jrl0726
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a nagging question... awhite787
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