Strangers on a Train – Another Solid Hitchcock

Rating (4 out of 5)

I was going back through the movies that we own, and found this in our collection and I hadn’t watched it (my son purchased it).  While some components of this movie seem dated, there are other shots that were unique and the story is excellent.

Basically, Guy our hero is famous tennis player, and meets a stranger, Bruno on the train. Bruno, played by Robert Walker, is the highlight of this movie.  He is an intelligent psycho path.  During their train ride together, Bruno proposes, that he kill Guy’s wife who Guy is trying to divorce and in return Guy would kill Bruno’s father.  Bruno has worked out that this allows for an alibi and police would have a hard time pinning a murder on them, because they didn’t have a motive to kill the others “pain person”.  Guy thinks Bruno is joking, and Guy leaves Bruno.  However, Bruno being a bit disturbed thinks they have a deal.

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Hitchcock was in great form when Bruno was tailing and eventually killing Guy’s wife. The part I enjoyed though was after the killing, how Bruno suffered remorse/guilt when he saw a woman that looked similar to the woman he killed.  The small suttle images throughout the movie images that are missed from movies today in the made rush to get ot the action.  One of my favorites images (below) is Bruno watching Guy during one of his tennis matches.  Everyone’s head is going back and forth except Guy.  Highlights the insenity of Bruno.

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One item I didn’t enjoy was the 1950’s melodrama and how they had passionate discussions.  To me this makes the movie a bit dated.  The other part of the movie I didn’t like goes back to daughter’s point about people not talking to each other as a way to force drama.  If Guy had told his girlfriend or her dad, or had a frank discussion with the police the first time, these problems wouldn’t have happened.  It was some of the items that forced the plot that I felt were thin and took away from the overall story.

Robert Walker was fantastic as the bad guy.  Just normal enough to have conversations with people around him, but on the fringes of discussions,m you see how distrubed he actually he is.  It is a shame that Robert Walker died shortly after making this movie.

If you like a Hitchcock film, you won’t be disappointed.

 

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