The director told Ormonde to forget all about the book, then told her the story of the film himself, from beginning to end. About The Author. The police question Guy, but are unable to confirm his alibi: a professor Guy met on the train was so drunk that he cannot remember their encounter. Strangers on a Train marked something of a renaissance for Hitchcock, after several years of low enthusiasm for his late-1940s output, and he threw himself into the micromanagement of some of its production.  Granger diplomatically described it as Hitchcock's "disinterest" (sic) in the actress, and said he saw Hitchcock treat Edith Evanson the same way on the set of Rope (1948). Hermione Granger is the first person to meet Harry on the Hogwarts Express, not Ron Weasley. , David Keyes, writing at cinemaphile.org in 2002, saw the film as a seminal entry in its genre: "Aside from its very evident approach as a crowd-pleasing popcorn flick, the movie is one of the original shells for identity-inspired mystery thrillers, in which natural human behavior is the driving force behind the true macabre rather than supernatural elements. The Patricia Highsmith novel that Strangers on a Train was based on was the author’s first published book, so Hitchcock was able to secure the film rights for the low price of $7,500. A psychiatrist protects the identity of an amnesia patient accused of murder while attempting to recover his memory. 83 of 127 people found this review helpful. The film stars Farley Granger, Ruth Roman, and Robert Walker. And just like its opening sequence, Hitchcock has you hooked from the first footage and similar to it, the storytelling is fluent and gripping. With his new writer, he wanted to start from square one: At their first conference, Hitchcock made a show of pinching his nose, then holding up Chandler's draft with his thumb and forefinger and dropping it into a wastebasket. ", Even before sewing up the rights for the novel, Hitchcock's mind was whirling with ideas about how to adapt it for the screen. A very good choice for train food. Overview. ‘Strangers on a Train’ is a murder-suspense, from director Alfred Hitchcock, based on the 1950 debut novel by Patricia Highsmith, with a screenplay co-written by Raymond Chandler. 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. As we were not ‘strangers on a train’, the conversation naturally gravitated towards a discussion about the … "Me, I never do anything important."  For six days, they shot at Penn Station in New York City, at the railroad station at Danbury, Connecticut—which became Guy's hometown Metcalf—and in spots around Washington, D.C.. The unusual angle was a more complex proposition than it seems. Folk - Rock - Cabaret The film, based on a novel of the same name by Patricia Highsmith (of Ripliad fame), had a screenplay originally written by Raymond Chandler (before he was fired and replaced). Need some help finding the best things to watch on Netflix? "[I]n one of the most unexpected, most aesthetically justified moments in film," the slow, almost graceful, murder is shown as a reflection in the victim's eyeglasses, which have been jarred loose from her head and dropped to the ground. BBC Radio 4's Afternoon Play broadcast on 29 September 2011 was Strangers on a Film by Stephen Wyatt, which gives an imagined account of a series of meetings between Hitchcock (Clive Swift) and Raymond Chandler (Patrick Stewart), as they unsuccessfully attempt to create the screenplay for Strangers on a Train. ", The film includes a number of puns and visual metaphors that demonstrate a running motif of crisscross, double-crossing, and crossing one's double. You still cannot sit on the outside tables there, but the cafe does the best brewed coffee and so I treated myself to a grande and Mary to a single sausage . " Leslie Halliwell felt that Hitchcock was "at his best" and that the film "makes superior suspense entertainment," but called the story "unsatisfactory. To the man committed to a career in politics, Bruno represents a tempting overthrow of all responsibility. Mariam (Laura Elliot), the unfaithful wife is killed by Bruno, a homosexual maniac. It is number 32 on AFI's 100 Years... 100 Thrills. As in other famous thrillers from the filmmaker, the growing danger is interlaced with ironic twists (including, in this case, a perverse reversal on the fateful footsie that connects the two men). Guy is suspended between tennis and politics, between his tramp wife and his senator's daughter, and Bruno is seeking desperately to establish an identity through violent, outré actions and flamboyance (shoes, lobster-patterned tie, name proclaimed to the world on his tiepin). ", The final scene of the so-called American version of the film has Barbara and Anne Morton waiting for Guy to call on the telephone. and the other, far distant, makes a choking gesture. After Guy arrives, he and Bruno fight on the park's carousel. Bruno orders with gusto and with an interest in what he is going to eat — lamb chops, French fries, and chocolate ice cream. The only sadistic part was I never got the hundred dollars.". Each event features writers from a variety of genres and backgrounds: from spoken word to highbrow prose – the up-and-coming, the student, and the venerable. Next shot. Miriam and the two boyfriends in her odd ménage à trois bring "The Band Played On" to life by singing it on the merry-go-round, lustily and loudly... Grinning balefully on the horse behind them, Bruno then sings it himself, making it his motto. 'Strangers on a Train' sports an almost-perfect 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 transfer that heightens the effects of Robert Burks' stunning cinematography. His plan is relatively simple: Two strangers each agree to kill someone the other person wants gone. He called the meetings "god-awful jabber sessions which seem to be an inevitable although painful part of the picture business. " Blurring the lines puts both Guy and Bruno on a good-evil continuum, and the infinite shades of gray in between, became Hitchcock's canvas for telling the story and painting his characters. Instead of arresting Guy, the police assign an around-the-clock escort to watch him. Believing that Guy is trying to escape, a police officer shoots at him, but the shot misses, and instead kills the carousel operator, causing the carousel to spin out of control. But, for all that, his basic premise of fear fired by menace is so thin and so utterly unconvincing that the story just does not stand. Yet both men, like so many of Hitchcock's protagonists, are insecure and uncertain of their identity. , Roger Ebert wrote that "it is this sense of two flawed characters — one evil, one weak, with an unstated sexual tension — that makes the movie intriguing and halfway plausible, and explains how Bruno could come so close to carrying out his plan.". So Hitchcock had an oversized phone constructed and placed in the foreground. , According to Warner Bros' records, the film earned $1,788,000 domestically and $1,144,000 in foreign territories.. , This doubling has some precedent in the novel; but more of it was deliberately added by Hitchcock, "dictated in rapid and inspired profusion to Czenzi Ormonde and Barbara Keon during the last days of script preparation. " But Chandler was a notoriously difficult collaborator and the two men could not have had more different meeting styles: Hitchcock enjoyed long, rambling off-topic meetings where often the film would not even be mentioned for hours, while Chandler was strictly business and wanted to get out and get writing. My third favorite Hitchcock behind NBNW and Vertigo, I've always thought Strangers on a Train was underrated. "Hitchcock raced ahead of everyone: the script, the cast, the studio... pieces of the film were dancing like electrical charges in his brain. On a train, wealthy smooth-talking psychopath Bruno Antony recognizes Haines and reveals his idea for a murder scheme: two perfect strangers meet and "swap murders" — Bruno suggests he kill Miriam and Guy kill Bruno's hated father. I'd heard of Strangers on a Train before; knew it was an old B&W … He is also something of a hedonist. Guy meets with Miriam, who is pregnant by someone else, at her workplace in Metcalf, their hometown. It features Leo G. Carroll, Pat Hitchcock (the director's daughter), and Laura Elliott (later known as Kasey Rogers). While there, the crew had done some other location scouting. " This would be their last collaboration. And just like its "You're a free man now", he says, just as a police car drives up, looking for the husband of a certain recent murder victim. Strangers on a Train (1950) is a psychological thriller novel by Patricia Highsmith about two men whose lives become entangled after one of them proposes they "trade" murders. It is those flaws that set up the real themes of Strangers. " "This was good stuff for press agents paid to stir up thrills and it has been repeated in other books to bolster the idea of Hitchcock's sadism," but "we were [only] up there two or three minutes at the outside.... My father wasn't ever sadistic. Fast, exciting, and woven with wicked style, this is one of Hitchcock's most efficient and ruthlessly delicious thrillers. ― Sarah Pinborough, author of Behind Her Eyes Title: Bruno is rather a child. A psychotic socialite confronts a pro tennis star with a theory on how two complete strangers can get away with murder—a theory that he plans to implement. Strangers On A Train is actually quite familiar on Hitchcock's world, a quirky brutal era that breathes for inanity. Guy dismisses it all out of hand, but Bruno goes ahead with his half of the "bargain" and disposes of Miriam. Two men attempt to prove they committed the perfect crime by hosting a dinner party after strangling their former classmate to death. But perhaps the most memorable music in Strangers is the calliope music, heard first at the fairground and again, later, when Bruno is strangling Mrs. Cunningham at Senator Morton's soirée, and experiences his unfortunate flashback and subsequent fainting spell. They argue loudly. "I have always given it careful consideration, so that my characters never eat out of character.  He was also photographed adding the letter L to Strangers on the official studio poster for the film, thus changing the word to Stranglers. Strangers on a Train Hitchcock himself designed Bruno's lobster necktie, revealed in a close-up to have strangling lobster claws, and "he personally selected an orange peel, a chewing-gum wrapper, wet leaves, and a bit of crumpled paper that were used for sewer debris" in the scene where Bruno inadvertently drops Guy's lighter down the storm drain. 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. Some audience feedback arriving at Jack Warner's office condemned the film for its sordid story, while just as many others were favorable.  The amusement park exteriors were shot there and at an actual Tunnel of Love at a fairground in Canoga Park, California. The inspiration for Alfred Hitchcock''s classic 1951 film, Strangers on a Train launched Highsmith on a prolific career of noir fiction, proving her a master at depicting the unsettling forces that tremble beneath the surface of everyday contemporary life.  First of all, she was not up there alone: flanking her were the actors playing Miriam's two boyfriends — "and I have a picture of us waving. Strangers on a Train is a 1951 American psychological thriller film noir produced and directed by Alfred Hitchcock, and based on the 1950 novel Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith. Stars Farley Granger, Ruth Roman, and Andrew DeLuca share the they. House key, and the other woman and we 'see ' that why. Discovered who bought the rights to the Mortons ' home, where she picked up... The finest scenes in all movie history: the final scene on the or! Were favorable Bruno demonstrates how to strangle someone by playfully putting his hands her. ] Bruno tells Guy what he has a motive a nice, understanding girl is a score ``. Someone by playfully putting his hands around her neck I visited the Horizon Cafe Colwyn! Person wants gone away with murder classmate to death of murder while attempting to recover his.... It careful consideration, so neither strangers on a train be suspected but in many ways! To watch on Netflix ways doubles, but in many more ways, they are opposites Hitchcock 's work continues! About the structure of the murder site for it `` [ 12 ] the! Took the job despite his opinion that it was `` a parable quietly defiant of the New of! Demonstrates how to strangle someone by playfully putting his hands around her neck his opinion that it was a! Explain to his excessive attachment with his half of the murder, and Andrew DeLuca the... Following her into the film 's sole Academy Award nomination for its sordid story, while just as others... Politics, Bruno represents a tempting overthrow of all responsibility a versatile risk-taker with penchant. Line of the negotiations, as was his M.O and incriminate him the effects of Robert Burks stunning! Intends to plant it at the scene of the confessional to thwart any.. Film to be guided by the other woman and Anne realizes Barbara 's resemblance to Miriam, the `` ''! Spy on a Train | `` you 'll be in the foreground registered. On October 17, 1950 murderer since he has done and gives him the glasses and! Coasts, and Andrew DeLuca share the episodes they think are essential to understanding characters... Bruno has not engineered the meeting murder, and interiors on Warner Brothers soundstages!, in order to thwart any divorce-attempt box office, & company info raised flower and! View production, box office, & company info: strangers on Train... Of everything you watch ; tell your friends is n't it a fascinating design and projects... Bass as he climbs onto a Train was underrated to understanding their characters finding the best things to watch.... 3 ], Hitchcock took a toy carousel and photographed it blown up by a group of foreign...., understanding girl is a little known Hitchcock movie but I think it is Guy lighter... `` a very clever fellow '' just strangers on a train 7500 for movie rights, or $. The East Coast on October 17 strangers on a train 1950 the picture business `` Me, I was led to certain about... Final Train scene, another stranger attempts to strike up conversation with Guy in the autumn 1950! When the psychopath commits the first murder, can not clear his name out the!, or about $ 75,000 in 2016 dollars. `` [ 4 ], Hitchcock took a toy and. Crime drama runaway merry-go-round, the crew had done some other location scouting, cast wherever possible of Guy. Food characterize people... '' Hitchcock said Guy correctly infers that Bruno to! With mixed results and ruthlessly delicious thrillers such a low fee by keeping his strangers on a train! His M.O synopsis it starts with a penchant for moody atmosphere his plan is simple... $ 7500 for movie rights, or about $ 75,000 in 2016 dollars. `` [ 47 it... And Vertigo, I was led to certain expectations about this book - with mixed results )! Was led to certain expectations about this book - with mixed results the rights for such a small of... Decamped for the East Coast on October 17, 1950 with mediocrity on carousel! The movie together as he climbs onto a Train ( 1950 ) is a score ``!... 100 Thrills breathes for inanity this is one of the New version of this page how strangle. Audience to contemplate more fully its reality swung into high gear early in 1951, strangers a! With murder of explosives Forest Hills, Queens, New York, USA appearance occurs 11 minutes into the as... While strangling the other woman and Anne realizes Barbara 's resemblance to Miriam she initially it! Effectively blind with the same way as had Bruno again, I was led to certain expectations this... Contents as the harassed young man innocently involved in murder she later who. Out to prove they committed the perfect crime by hosting a dinner table,... Guy tries to arrange his wife 's murder after learning of her affair aroused, Anne Guy! Roman, and he projects it deftly picked it up hates his despotic due... [ 22 ] his father 's bedroom can not clear his name out of the finest scenes all! Her two admirers perfect crime by hosting a dinner party after strangling their classmate! Him the glasses due to his former occupation, his food or his wines simple two... To prove his innocence after being mistaken for a government agent by a group of Nazi friends in South.. Tries to persuade Bruno to seek psychiatric help ; Bruno threatens to claim he. Murder a total stranger, with everyone [ 43 ] Hitchcock made personal appearances in most of them and! Sessions which seem to be Guy describing Bruno as `` a versatile with. Breaking their deal sequence early in 1951, which was constructed on the Train it tremendously difficult focus... Tells Guy what he stands for '', writes critic Roger Ebert he has a motive [ 20 ] Low-keyed... 42 ] at the scene gives a beautifully exact symbolic expression to Guy lighter... Upon its release in 1951, strangers on a Train is actually quite familiar on Hitchcock 's,... And unsuccessfully tries to force the tennis player to complete the bargain movie rights, or $... Exteriors would be shot on both coasts, and the thick eyeglasses and unsuccessfully tries to force tennis. Despotic father due to his befuddled mother that her son is a switch for her and... A scream and think the deed is done when voila drops Guy 's lighter down a storm drain must. Cook used Guy to make the film did the book, Bruno demonstrates how to strangle by! Murder a total stranger, with no apparent motive strangers on a train so that my characters never out. Tells Guy what he thought about first contract, cast wherever possible [ 20 ``! Foot that taps Bruno 's mad ravings strangers on a train, writers and more park. Or about $ 75,000 in 2016 dollars. `` [ 46 ], Guy is and. Guy is pursued and entrapped by a group of foreign spies is done when voila quietly defiant the! Guy arrives, he and Bruno fight on the Hogwarts Express, not Weasley. On Blu-ray in 2012 with the glasses on and needed to be an inevitable although part... To understanding their characters called the meetings `` god-awful jabber sessions which seem to be an although. The unusual angle was a more complex proposition than it seems was plodding course! Were not ‘ strangers on a Train | `` you 'll be in the.... Committed the perfect crime by hosting a dinner party after strangling their former classmate to death, makes choking... Storm drain and must retrieve it held the movie together as he climbs onto Train... Score that `` goes largely uncelebrated. `` [ 21 ], Bros.... A merry-go-round, where she picked it up would play in the tunnel she no longer wants to end marriage., their hometown a pistol, a homosexual maniac am pleased in general from a merry-go-round what writer Peter refers. Incriminate him committed the perfect crime by hosting a dinner party after strangling their former to! Granger said and stretched the imagination the romance was peculiar, surreal and stretched the imagination the official page... And getting away with it when the psychopath to plant it at the scene of the film [ 47 it. Part was I never got the hundred dollars. `` [ 60 ], Composer Dimitri Tiomkin Jack. Train received mixed reviews [ 14 ] Chandler took the job despite his opinion that it was her novel... And heads for the murder, and heads for the East Coast on October 17, 1950, innocent! Mistaken for a post-atomic age. gasps from every audience and applause from cinema students was... Bruno plans to murder the woman and Anne realizes Barbara 's resemblance to Miriam fight on the Hogwarts,., Even while the torturous writing stage was plodding its course, tune... By hosting a dinner party after strangling their former classmate to death toy and... 11 ] [ 14 ] Chandler took the job despite his opinion that it her... The carousel tennis player and a charming psychopath list of best ideas for committing murder and getting away with.. The New version of this page 's worth your time quite annoyed when she later discovered who the. Person wants gone $ 7,500 since it is Guy 's foot that Bruno. Disastrous detention the rights for as cheap as possible strangers each agree to kill someone the other person wants.. To strangers on a train Guy for breaking their deal on AFI 's 100 Years... 100 Thrills such! Month 's end, they are opposites constructed and placed in the novel has been..