The stunt where the man crawled under the carousel was not done with trick photography. Alfred Hitchcock claimed that this was the most dangerous stunt ever performed under his direction, and would never allow it to be done again.
Alfred Hitchcock had admired Edgar Allan Poe's stories since his teenage years, and went on to put Edgar Allan Poe references in his films. French critics noticed that there are connections between the runaway carousel in this film and Poe's "A Descent into the Maelstrom".
This is the movie that determined the location of Carol Burnett's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 1951, she was working as an usher when this film was playing at the Warner Theatre on Hollywood Blvd. A couple arrived late, and Burnett, having already seen the film, advised them that it was a wonderful film that should be seen from the very beginning. The manager of the theatre very rudely fired her for this. Years later, when Carol Burnett was asked where she would like to have her star placed on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, she requested that it be placed in front of that theatre.
Raymond Chandler seems to have gone out of his way to behave disagreeably to Alfred Hitchcock. 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!"
As Guy leaves the last match, part of a quotation clearly including the words "two impostors" is visible on the beam above his head. It is from Rudyard Kipling's poem "If." The line reads "If you can meet with triumph and disaster / And treat those two impostors just the same..."
Alfred Hitchcock refused to treat his daughter preferentially, which won them both the respect of the other players. "We never discuss Strangers on a Train at home," she told an interviewer at the time. "On the set, he gives me direction as well as criticism. I might as well be Jane Jones instead of Patricia Hitchcock."
In an interview, Farley Granger revealed that this film and They Live by Night (1948) were his favourite films. Granger also revealed that he loved working with Robert Walker and was very upset when he heard about Robert Walker's sudden death which happened couple of months after the shooting of this film.
When the movie was released in Germany in 1952, about five minutes were removed which were considered too brutal or sadistic. Later the scenes were re-added for TV, but they are subtitled, while the rest of the movie is dubbed.
Alfred Hitchcock and Robert Walker worked out an elaborate series of gestures and physical appearance to suggest the homosexuality and seductiveness of Bruno's character while bypassing censor objections.
Patricia Hitchcock. She had begged for a ride on the Ferris wheel constructed on the fairgrounds set. When she reached the top, Hitchcock ordered the ride stopped and all lights turned out. Leaving the area in total darkness, he took cast and crew to another location in the far corner of the park to direct a different scene. His daughter remained in terror at the top of the Ferris wheel for an hour before he sent someone back to lower it and let her out.
According to Farley Granger, Alfred Hitchcock, who worked all his shots out in great detail on paper before shooting, often looked unhappy on the set. When the actor asked him if something was wrong, Hitchcock complained, "Oh, I'm so bored!"
There were several changes made from the original novel: the character Bruno Antony was named Charles Anthony Bruno and Guy Haines was an architect, not a tennis player. Also, Anne Morton was originally named Anne Faulkner.
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.
The scene of the climactic fight on the carousel and the ride's subsequent explosion was very complicated to shoot with a combination of live action and rear screen projection. It usually took about a half day to set up each shot so the actors and the projected image matched.
While the script was still being worked on, Alfred Hitchcock went to the Forest Hills tennis club in New York to film the Davis Cup matches between Australia and the U.S. for long shots of Guy competing.
An amusement park was created according to 'Alfred Hitchcock' (I)'s exact specifications at the ranch of director Rowland V. Lee in the Los Angeles suburb of Chatsworth. However, the tunnel-of-love scenes were shot at a fairground in Canoga Park.
The film did not initially end with Guy Haines and Anne Morton on the train. In another version of the film it ends just before this. This other reel was mistakenly labeled 'the British version' leading people to believe that this was what was shown in Britain. This is in fact incorrect and the same ending was broadcast in Britain and America.