strangers on a train
dir. alfred hitchcock
“My theory is that everyone is a potential murderer.”
Part of me wants to label Strangers on a Train another in a line of “easy” Hitchcock thrillers, but part of me wants to put it higher than that. There’s really nothing wrong with it; the performances are good, the story holds you, and it is shot in the traditional yet interesting Hitchcockian manner–but there still seems to be something lacking. Notorious and Rebecca and Psycho knock my socks off: they’re thrilling, they’re scary, and they’re technically brilliant. Strangers I think comes close, but certainly doesn’t rival them.
Guy Haines (played by the crazy beautiful Farley Granger) is a famous tennis player en route to another tournament when he meets Bruno Antony. Bruno knows about his love affairs from the tabloids, and uses this to make Guy a dark proposition: kill my father for me, and I’ll kill your wife for you.
“I still think it would be wonderful to have a man love you so much he’d kill for you.”
Strangers is probably one of Hitchcock’s most gleefully dark films, which provoked controversy at the time of its release (and rightfully so). It’s a game of cat and mouse, and will grip you from start to finish.