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Strangers on a Train (1951)

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A psychotic socialite attempts to force a professional tennis star to prove a theory that two complete strangers can get away with murder.

Director:

Alfred Hitchcock

Writers:

Raymond Chandler (screen play), Czenzi Ormonde (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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 starts with the shriek of a train whistle... and ends with shrieking excitement! 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

In an interview, Farley Granger revealed that this movie and They Live by Night (1948) were his favorite movies. Granger also revealed that he loved working with Robert Walker and was very upset when he heard about Walker's sudden death, which happened eight months after filming. See more »

Goofs

When Guy arrives in Metcalf to head off Bruno, he walks up to a taxi and tells the driver, "Amusement park - quick," but the line has clearly been dubbed by a different actor. 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 Innerspace (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

Bill Grogan's Goat
(uncredited)
Traditional children's song
Sung by John Brown on the train
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

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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