Strangers on a Train (1951) - Plot Summary Poster

Plot Summary

  • 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
  • Guy Haines is a well known amateur tennis player who wants to go into politics in his post tennis life. He is equally well known in the society papers as a man who wants to divorce his shrewish and cheating wife, Miriam, so that he can marry Anne Morton, the refined daughter of a state senator. To spite Guy, Miriam refuses to divorce him, while she plans to continue cavorting with other men. Bruno Antony is a charming and gregarious man, who lives off the wealth of his father. He's also a sociopath who loves his mentally childlike mother, but detests his father, who he believes is the repressive cause of his problems. Guy and Bruno meet each other one day on a train. Their social chit-chat, directed by Bruno, leads to discussion of what Bruno considers the perfect murders: each of two strangers kill the other's "problem" person, as each killer would have no ties to the person murdered. In their case, Bruno would kill Miriam, while Guy would kill Bruno's father. As Guy and Bruno part company, Guy believes Bruno's talk was just social chit-chat all in fun. However, Bruno believes they have a pact as witnessed by the fact that he does end up killing Miriam. Guy knows Bruno killed her, but doesn't feel he can go to the police with the fantastical story, which be thinks will implicate himself more. The situation gets worse for Guy as Bruno starts implicating himself in Guy's life to pressure Guy into keeping to his supposed end of the bargain. Guy has to figure out what to do so as not to implicate himself, not kill anyone and keep those around him safe, which may be a problem for Anne's sister Barbara who has a physical resemblance to Miriam. The other problem for Guy in going to the police is that Bruno has his personalized cigarette lighter, which he may use to implicate Guy if Guy doesn't comply.

    - Written by Huggo
  • Psychotic mother's boy Bruno Anthony meets famous tennis player Guy Haines on a train. Guy wants to move into a career in politics and has been dating a senator's daughter (Ann Morton) while awaiting a divorce from his wife. Bruno wants to kill his father but knows he will be caught because he has a motive. Bruno dreams up a crazy scheme in which he and Guy exchange murders. Guy takes this as a joke, but Bruno is serious and takes things into his own hands.

    - Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>
  • Tennis star Guy Haines meets a stranger on the Washington-to-New York train who offers to exchange murders. The stranger, Bruno Anthony, will kill Guy's estranged wife if Guy will kill Bruno's hated father. Guy doesn't take Bruno seriously until his wife, Miriam, is found murdered in an amusement park. Guy becomes the chief suspect, which threatens his tennis career; his romantic involvement with a U.S. senator's daughter, Anne Morton; his hopes for a political career; and even his life. When it becomes evident to Bruno that Guy isn't going to kill his father, he tells Guy that he intends to establish Guy's guilt conclusively by planting his monogrammed cigarette lighter on the island where Miriam was murdered. With Anne's help, Guy attempts to stop Bruno after rushing through an important tennis match and racing to the amusement park.

    - Written by filmfactsman
  • 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.

    - Written by Anonymous


Amateur Tennis star Guy Haines (Farley Granger) wants to divorce his vulgar and unfaithful wife Miriam (Laura Elliott)...

See full synopsis » (Warning: contains spoilers!)

See also

Taglines | Synopsis | Plot Keywords | Parents Guide

Contribute to This Page