8.0/10
112,640
296 user 107 critic

Strangers on a Train (1951)

Trailer
2:22 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

A psychotic socialite attempts to force an amateur tennis star to comply with his theory that two complete strangers can get away with reciprocal murders.

Director:

Alfred Hitchcock

Writers:

Raymond Chandler (screen play), Czenzi Ormonde (screen play) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
4,629 ( 3,503)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Rope (1948)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Two young men strangle their "inferior" classmate, hide his body in their apartment, and invite his friends and family to a dinner party as a means to challenge the "perfection" of their crime.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: James Stewart, John Dall, Farley Granger
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A tennis player frames his unfaithful wife for first-degree murder after she inadvertently hinders his plan to kill her.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Ray Milland, Grace Kelly, Robert Cummings
Notorious (1946)
Drama | Film-Noir | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A woman is asked to spy on a group of Nazi friends in South America. How far will she have to go to ingratiate herself with them?

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A young woman discovers her visiting uncle may not be the man he seems to be.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Teresa Wright, Joseph Cotten, Macdonald Carey
Adventure | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A hapless New York City advertising executive is mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies, and is pursued across the country while he looks for a way to survive.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason
The Birds (1963)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A wealthy San Francisco socialite pursues a potential boyfriend to a small Northern California town that slowly takes a turn for the bizarre when birds of all kinds suddenly begin to attack people.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Rod Taylor, Tippi Hedren, Jessica Tandy
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An American physician and his wife take matters into their own hands after assassins planning to execute a foreign Prime Minister kidnap their son.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: James Stewart, Doris Day, Brenda de Banzie
Rebecca (1940)
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A self-conscious bride is tormented by the memory of her husband's dead first wife.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders
Spellbound (1945)
Film-Noir | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A psychiatrist protects the identity of an amnesia patient accused of murder while attempting to recover his memory.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Ingrid Bergman, Gregory Peck, Michael Chekhov
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

While travelling in continental Europe, a rich young playgirl realizes that an elderly lady seems to have disappeared from the train.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Margaret Lockwood, Michael Redgrave, Paul Lukas
Mystery | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

When a reformed jewel thief is suspected of returning to his former occupation, he must ferret out the real thief in order to prove his innocence.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, Jessie Royce Landis
Suspicion (1941)
Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A shy young heiress marries a charming gentleman, and soon begins to suspect he is planning to murder her.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Stars: Cary Grant, Joan Fontaine, Cedric Hardwicke
Edit

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
Edit

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:

Warner Bros. now bring a pounding new tempo to screen entertainment! See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some violence and tension | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

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 »

Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Raymond Chandler's version of the script ended with Bruno Antony being arrested and institutionalized, with the final image being the villain writhing in a strait jacket. See more »

Goofs

When Guy is having a conversation with Professor Collins on the train, the drunk man's legs appear to switch from being crossed to uncrossed in a subsequent shot. 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

Referenced in Twelve Monkeys (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Oh! You Beautiful Doll
(1911) (uncredited)
Music by Nat Ayer
Played when Bruno is helping the blind man cross the street
Also played when the police arrive during the last amusement park scene
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Alfred Hitchcock takes everything good about Patricia Highsmith's novel, and butchers it
30 December 2017 | by georgiacuthbertsonsmaSee all my reviews

A tale that was originally about moral ambiguity and the blending of two personalities has been reduced to a one dimensional, predictable and frankly ridiculous (out of control merry go round? really?) film. Not only is the story boring, but the characters lack depth or likeability. Hitchcock completely missed the entire point of Strangers On A Train - a disturbing yet skilful novel that once stressed the thin line between good and evil is reduced to a typical good vs evil bore that isn't ambitious in the slightest.

The thing that bothered me the most was definitely the characterisation of the protagonist, Guy. From the beginning he's a kind, normal tennis player who would never consider murder. He's a stereotypical "nice guy", who gets everything he wants at the end of the film, and appears to suffer no physical or mental damage from the events that have happened to him. He has no character development at all, no real depth, and his actions are predictable as hell. Everything that made him an interesting character in the original novel has been destroyed. His original career in architecture, for example, which he believes brings him closer to God, was replaced by bloody tennis. Tennis? How does that contribute to the plot at all? His breakdown throughout the novel by Bruno that leads Guy to murder and eventually ruins his life, too, is shattered. The Guy in Hitchcock's movie doesn't resemble the conflicted, messed up character shown in Highsmith's novel and is a complete disappointment.

Bruno, too, lacks the obsessive, disgusting nature shown in the novel. No, he is just yet another villain who only cares about murder and would do anything to have it. Anne, while sweet and witty, does not have the strong mindedness that Highsmith's character did. Other characters were just there as plot devices, and their relationships were empty.

The love/hate relationship between Bruno and Guy that is an extremely important aspect of Strangers On A Train is replaced by an indifference between both characters. There is no real chemistry between them, and no clear build up of tension that leads to the fight on the merry go round at the end of the film. "Bruno is using Guy, and Guy doesn't want to be used". This is as far as Hitchcock will take their relationship - he completely ignores the way Bruno is obsessed with Guy or that Guy secretly feels he and Bruno are the same person. The original novel clearly raised a moral debate that Hitchcock didn't want to explore

The film introduces important plot points without ever dealing with them. Why mirror Bruno and Guy in the first place if you're going to present them as completely different people? What is the point of introducing Bruno's father if Guy isn't going to kill him anyway, and is going to stick to his guns the entire time?

In conclusion, this film has no real complexity and I'm sure that anyone who praises it lacks understanding of the point of the original novel. On its own it's a mediocre thriller with stereotypical characters and a better ending, but when compared with the true ambiguity and brilliance of the original novel, it falls flat. A tale of insanity, murder, moral ambiguity and guilt deserves much better than this


2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 296 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Can 2019 Oscars Avoid a Hostless Disaster?

The 91st Academy Awards isn't the first year the show won't have a host, but it will be the first time since the 1989 Snow White and Rob Lowe incident. So will the 2019 Oscars still rock you?

Watch now

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed