A psychopath forces a tennis star to comply with his theory that two strangers can get away with murder.

Director:

Alfred Hitchcock

Writers:

Raymond Chandler (screen play), Czenzi Ormonde (screen play) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
4,556 ( 206)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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 John Brown ... Prof. Collins
Norma Varden ... Mrs. Cunningham
Robert Gist ... Det. Leslie Hennessey
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Storyline

Bruno Antony 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 gone. 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 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 to divorce him. 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:

It begins with the shriek of a train whistle and ends with shrieking excitement! Young America's idol - a good looking stranger in search of sensation - and a girl in love. These are the people around whom Alfred Hitchcock spins his wonderful new web of suspense and surprise. 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:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Farley Granger, Sir Alfred Hitchcock, who worked all his shots out in great detail on paper before shooting, often looked unhappy on the set. When Granger asked him if something was wrong, Hitchcock complained, "Oh, I'm so bored!" See more »

Goofs

Behind the photographers just before the start of the tennis match we can see a scoreboard showing a completed 5-set match. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Guy Haines: Oh, excuse me.
Bruno Anthony: I beg your pardon, but aren't you Guy Haines?
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Alternate Versions

There are several differences in the British version of the film, including:
  • The first encounter between Bruno and Guy on the train is longer, and features a more obvious homoerotic flirtation by Bruno;
  • In the scene where Guy sneaks out of his apartment to go to Bruno's house, a shot of him opening a drawer to get the map Bruno sketched is added;
  • The very last scene in the US version, which involves a clergyman, was deleted.
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Connections

Referenced in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: Revenge (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

The Band Played On
(1895) (uncredited)
Music by Chas. B. Ward
Lyrics by John F. Palmer
Sung by Kasey Rogers, Tommy Farrell, Roland Morris and Robert Walker while riding the merry-go-round
Played often throughout the picture
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User Reviews

One of Hitchcock's finest achievements
15 August 2006 | by ametaphysicalsharkSee all my reviews

"Strangers on a Train" is a brilliant example of what Hitchcock could do best, continually develop his plot and characters in an atmosphere both creepy and humorous. The film has great dialogue, superb characters, good acting, and naturally superb direction from the master of suspense who is truly at his best here. Robert Walker's Bruno Anthony is a character few will forget; he is creepy, psychopathic, and as M. Night Shyamalan says on one of the DVD's special features it is the fact that he has moral standards, however unconventional and disturbed they may be, that makes him such a dangerous man.

Strangers is a truly involving film, one that takes you on a ride you won't forget anytime soon, it has one of the best examples of buildup you could find on film, and as soon as it ends the film takes you on a journey that entertains and terrifies and even makes you laugh. This is a truly brilliant example of film-making, every shot is drenched in suspense, every cut is masterful, every detail important, every second exciting, it never lets go till the very end, and what an ending that is, a delicious bit of humor that is perfectly in tone with the rest of this delightful masterpiece.

Some have criticized Farley Granger's performance as Guy Haines, but it really is quite perfect; he delivered all his lines well and makes us feel honestly sympathetic towards him. Robert Walker is simply genius as Bruno Anthony, a great character that wouldn't have been nearly as memorable without Robert Walker's devilishly evil portrayal of him. The supporting cast are good, Ruth Roman, Leo G. Carroll, Kasey Rogers, Howard St. John and Patricia Hitchcock all deliver good performances that enhance what was already a good film and make it a great film. Alfred Hitchcock's direction is, as always, sublime.

What makes "Strangers" so good is the simple plot. It isn't a complicated story, two strangers meet on a train, and one comes up with a crazy plot: "You do my murder, I do yours." One takes it as a joke and shrugs it off, but the other takes himself seriously and goes on to commit the murder he offered to, getting the 'good guy' into huge trouble. The script is adapted superbly well by Whitfield Cook from a novel by Patricia Highsmith.

This is really one of Hitchcock's most interesting films from a technical perspective while also providing more than enough laughs, suspense, and thrills to keep just about anybody engaged.

10/10


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

30 June 1951 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alfred Hitchcock's 'Strangers on a Train' See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,200,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$534
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut) | (preview)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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