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Strangers on a Train (1951)

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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 »
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Popularity
2,879 ( 842)
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's Off The Beaten Track! 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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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)

Gross USA:

$7,630,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut) | (preview)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While the script was still being worked on, Sir Alfred Hitchcock went to the Forest Hills tennis club in New York City to film the Davis Cup matches between Australia and the U.S. for long shots of Guy competing. See more »

Goofs

The hand that grasps the cigarette lighter in the drain has shorter fingernails than Bruno's hand, as is evident when Bruno's hand is opened in the final fairground scene. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Bruno Anthony: I beg your pardon, but aren't you Guy Haines?
See more »

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.
See more »

Connections

Featured in 78/52: Hitchcock's Shower Scene (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Ain't We Got Fun
(1921) (uncredited)
Music by Richard A. Whiting
Played as Bruno gets in line during the last amusement park scene
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Very good Hitch film about a tennis champion who becomes involved with psychopath in exchange killings
24 December 2011 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

Top-notch Hitch film dealing with a girl in love with young America's idol , a Tennis star named Guy Haines who becomes involved with a good-looking stranger , Bruno Anthony, in search of sensation that's how it all began..! Warner Bros bring a pounding new tempo to motion picture entertainment. A psychotic socialite (Robert Walker as unforgettable psycho) confronts a pro tennis star (Farley Granger) with a theory on how two complete strangers can get away with murder...a theory that he plans to implement . Guy Haines meets a stranger on the Washington-to-New York train who offers to exchange murders. The stranger will kill Guy's estranged wife if Guy will murder Bruno's hated father. Guy doesn't take Bruno seriously until his spouse , Miriam (Laura Elliott), is found killed in an amusement park . Guy becomes the chief suspect, which threatens his tennis career and his romantic involvement with a U.S. senator (Leo G. Carroll)'s daughter (Ruth Roman) .

Hitchcock first visited Hollywood in 1940, but was turned down by virtually all major motion picture studios because they thought he could not make a "Hollywood" picture. He was finally offered a seven-year directing contract by producer David O. Selznick. His first project was supposed to be a film about the Titanic, but Selznick scrapped the project because he "couldn't find a boat to sink." Selznick assigned Hitch to direct Rebeca (1940) instead, which later won the Best Picture Oscar . Later on , Hitchcock shot ¨Strangers on a train¨.

Tense/suspense/mystery abounds in this thriller from Hithcock who combines the elements of intrigue with romance, drama and action . Thrilling and interesting screenplay based on a Patricia Highsmith novel and co-scripted by novelist Raymond Chandler and uncredited the prestigious Ben Hecht . Robert Walker and Farley Granger give their finest acting as psychopath and tennis star respectively . Hitchock married Alma Reville , usually screenwriter ,and had one daughter, Patricia Hitchcock, who appeared in several of his movies: Stage fright (1950), and Psicosis (1960) and Strangers on the train where she plays splendidly the distrusted sister .Frequent collaborator the director of photography Robert Burks creates a stunning cinematography . Suspenseful and atmospheric original music by the classic Dimitri Tiomkin.

Hitchcock often used the ¨false guilty¨ or "wrong man" or "mistaken identity" theme in his movies Sabotage (1942), I confess (1953), Wrong man (1956), North by Northwest (1959), Frenesí (1972) and of course Stranger on a train . In a lot of his films -more noticeably in the early black and white American films-, he used to create more shadows on the walls to create suspense and tension . Hitch hated to shoot on location , he preferred to shoot at the studio where he could have full control of lighting and other factors. Rating : Above average , well worth watching . This good thriller by the master himself, who preys on the senses and keeps the suspense at feverish pitch . Worthwhile seeing thanks some Hitch's touches .


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