7.9/10
121,762
331 user 122 critic

Strangers on a Train (1951)

Trailer
2:23 | Trailer
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
4,627 ( 59)
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:

Excitement That Pounds With the Speed of a Streamliner! 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

The train station scene in "Metcalf" was actually filmed in Danbury, CT at the old train station on White St. (It is still there and is now a museum.) In one of the shots, signs for Leahy's fuel and range oil and Ray's Danbury Diner can be seen. (Both also are still there, though Ray's is now called the New Holiday Diner.) In subsequent shots, from the same angle, the word "Danbury" is obscured and seems to say "Metcalf". It looks like the negative or the print was altered to change it so as not to identify with Danbury, CT. The problem must have caught after location filming, and it was easier to fix after-the-fact. See more »

Goofs

Guy arrives at the amusement park late because a long-running tennis match delayed him. It would have been a simple matter for him to lose the match quickly. 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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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

 
It's 'all change' for the final act.
25 August 2013 | by BA_HarrisonSee all my reviews

Strangers on a Train boasts a neat central idea (the 'swapping' of murders), several classic Hitchcockian moments, and a fine performance from Robert Walker as psychotic socialite Bruno; but despite these admirable qualities the film fails to qualify as a complete success thanks to a severely flawed final act that makes one wonder what the hell Hitch was thinking.

Farley Granger's tennis-pro Guy Haines being coerced into discussing murder by charismatic lunatic Bruno—all well and good. The nutter carrying out his side of the plan as discussed—great stuff. Haines afraid to go to the police for fear of being implicated in a murderous pact with a clearly deranged Bruno—hey, why not? People don't always make the wisest of decisions when under pressure.

The whole ridiculous fairground finale, however, cannot be so easily brushed aside. Bruno develops telescopic arms, the police act like bumbling trigger-happy fools, and a merry-go-round achieves warp-speed before a toothless old guy confuses a self-destruct lever for the brake. It's like something out of a fever-dream—illogical, perplexing and utterly deranged—a dreadful way to end what was proving to be a very enjoyable thriller.

6.5 out of 10, rounded up to 7 for IMDb.


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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)
See more on IMDbPro »

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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