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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 -- Hitchcock's super-thriller about two passengers who meet accidentally and plot to "exchange" murders,a tennis star who wants out of his marriage.
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.


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8.1/10   86,070 votes »
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Down 3% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Raymond Chandler (screen play) and
Czenzi Ormonde (screen play) ...
View company contact information for Strangers on a Train on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
30 June 1951 (USA) See more »
Now a very special Alfred Hitchcock event! A hundred and one breathless minutes of matchless suspense! See more »
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:
Nominated for Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Hitchcock's compelling and original suspense masterpiece See more (255 total) »


  (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)

Directed by
Alfred Hitchcock 
Writing credits
Raymond Chandler (screen play) and
Czenzi Ormonde (screen play)

Whitfield Cook (adaptation)

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)
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

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Alfred Hitchcock's 'Strangers on a Train'" - USA (complete title)
See more »
Rated PG for some violence and tension (new rating) (re-issue) (1996)
101 min | Portugal:96 min (cut version) | 103 min (preview version) | West Germany:92 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
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:12 (re-rating) | 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 | UK:A (original rating) | USA:TV-PG (TV rating) | USA:Approved (certificate #14946) | USA:PG (new rating) (re-issue) (1996) | West Germany:16 (nf)

Did You Know?

According to Farley Granger, Alfred Hitchcock hated Ruth Roman treated her very harshly and criticized her often in front of everyone. "He had to have one person in each film he could harass," Granger noted.See more »
Audio/visual unsynchronized: When Guy says "Oh, excuse me" after accidentally bumping Bruno's foot in the opening scene in the train's club car, his voice has plainly been dubbed by another actor.See more »
[first lines]
Bruno Anthony:I beg your pardon, but aren't you Guy Haines?
See more »
Oh! You Beautiful DollSee more »


Is 'Strangers on a Train' based on a book?
What is 'Strangers on a Train' about?
Where is Hitchcock's cameo in this movie?
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14 out of 20 people found the following review useful.
Hitchcock's compelling and original suspense masterpiece, 23 February 2007
Author: pyrocitor from Ontario, Canada

Looking back at the career of Alfred Hitchcock, it never fails to be surprising how such a brilliant and visionary man could be denied sufficient recognition for how revolutionary he was for the film industry. It is likely a sign of how ahead of his time Hitchcock was, always attempting to push the envelope, and never coasting along with a film made simply for the purpose of being entertaining, but always with a deeper, more poignant motive on his mind. Strangers on a Train, one of Hitchcock's first and more underrated hits, is a perfect example of these traits - an entertaining and suspenseful story, even when viewed over 50 years later, yes, but so carefully and intelligently constructed it stands today as a masterpiece in film technique.

Arguably one of the pioneering "suspense thrillers", Strangers on a Train may come across as slightly dated in certain aspects, but it retains every bit of superbly crafted tension as it did back in 1951 (if perhaps slightly less shocking). The brilliant use of cinematography and lighting as well as quick, careful editing are what really make the film stand out, drawing out every possible iota of tension and retaining the audience's focus even in slower scenes. If there was ever any doubt of what a simply masterful filmmaker Hitchcock was, simply watching five minutes of Strangers on a Train should be enough to disavow such sentiments; every shot is so carefully chosen and constructed, all serving to drive the storyline ahead in a particularly innovative fashion. Sadly enough, there are certain moments in the story which are screechingly out of place enough to jar our focus away from the superb cinematography and editing - Bruno being able to reach down to the bottom of a sewer grate is simply unbelievable, and the figure of a stereotypical old man crawling under a wildly out of control carousel provides unintentional comedic relief in what is meant to be the film's most tense and engaging scene. These are only brief moments, but they are enough to stand out as painfully weak in an otherwise stellar film.

But what really makes Strangers on a Train stand out is the story premise. As Hollywood films of late run the risk of descending inescapably further and further into the vat of turgid clichée after clichée, it's wonderfully refreshing to see a 50 year old film with a premise which actually comes across as smart and original. Sure it's fairly straightforward, but the concept of "swapping murders" is simply one that would not fly in films of today's day and age, which makes it all the more entertaining to watch; the film's brilliant screenplay keeps the action flowing at a swift pace while providing us with some wonderfully memorable lines all the while. One can't help but notice the deeper themes Hitchcock is alluding to throughout as well, especially the concept of "darkness in humanity's heart", demonstrated by elderly ladies being fascinated and exhilarated by the prospect of murder, as well as Bruno's own cavalier attitude towards death. Hitch also works in many moments of dark humour (Bruno popping a child's balloon with his cigarette is priceless), and irony, shooting suspenseful scenes in happy, easy-going environments, such as the iconic carnival scenes, to create an even more eerie atmosphere. This may be a suspense thriller, yes, but to overlook the brain concealed beneath it would be simply inexcusable.

The antagonistic figure of Bruno (essayed to perverse perfection by Robert Walker, sadly in his last film role, but easily stealing the film from his admittably very talented fellow cast members) is without a doubt what makes Strangers on a Train so memorable, as the character is a marvel to behold. Here we have a simply superbly crafted villainous figure, all the more intriguing by how ordinary and unassuming he seems. Rather than cackling madly and thwarting the hero at every possible moment, Bruno is a calm, controlled, psychotic mess. He speaks of murder in such an offhand tone, yet retains a passionate glint in his eye when discussing different fashions of killing people. Bruno could seem to represent the "Id", as Freud would put it, the inner, darker and uninhibited aspects of mankind. It makes an interesting contrast to the hero figure, Guy Haines, and how bland and uninteresting he seems, almost as if to drive home the prospect of evil being much more interesting and appealing than constantly striving to do the right thing.

Yet despite this implied message, Hitch still twists our emotions enough that we root for Guy at every turn, and cheer at each new obstacle he is forced to overcome. It's a testament to actor Farley Granger's talent that despite Robert Walker's villain easily stealing the show, Granger's hero still comes across as sympathetic, still commanding our support even when falling prey to being a far less compelling character. Superb support is given by Ruth Roman, who manages to overcome the clichée and be a more innovative and complex romantic interest figure, Kasey Rogers giving a stunning performance as Guy's horrifyingly manipulative and hedonistic first wife, and Patricia Hitchcock, proving that she is far more talented than being simply "the director's daughter" would imply. The superb cast (headed by a simply wonderful Walker) really bring the film to life, adding so much more merit to the film than simply Hitchcock's breathtaking stylistics.

All in all, Strangers on a Train may still come across as slightly too dated for certain viewers, but it's still a shock how modern and appealing to contemporary audiences seems, considering it was released half a century ago. Once again, Hitchcock proves his unparalleled mastery of tension and film technique, and the film's surprisingly original and enjoyable premise is alone worth a viewing. Highly recommended to anyone wishing to undertake a brilliantly made but superbly entertaining film experience!


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