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Strangers on a Train

USA 1951. Dir: Alfred Hitchcock. 101 min. DCP

Hitchcock’s 1951 classic is a nifty, nasty noir thriller with a great hard-boiled pedigree: it’s based on a Patricia Highsmith novel, with a screenplay co-credited to Raymond Chandler. Unhappily married tennis star Guy (Farley Granger) chitchats with charming stranger Bruno (Robert Walker) on a train trip, and the two jokingly agree to “exchange murders”: Bruno will slay Guy’s troublesome wife in return for Guy killing Bruno’s hated father. When Bruno later fulfils his end of the mock bargain, Guy is horrified — and in a trainload of trouble. Walker’s extraordinary performance as diabolical Bruno is one of the most celebrated in the Hitchcock canon; the movie’s merry-go-round climax is also famed. Cinematographer Robert Burks was Oscar-nominated. “Intensely enjoyable — in some ways the best of Hitchcock’s American films ... with some of the best dialogue that ever graced a thriller” (Pauline Kael).


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REVIEWS

"One cinematic masterstroke after another ... Hitchcock's primary preoccupation was never more brilliantly realized."

The Guardian | full review

"A masterpiece of suspenseful storytelling ... It’s Hitchcock’s brilliant use of mischief and misdirection that makes Strangers on a Train one of his most memorable films."

Little White Lies | full review