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Strangers on a Train (1951)

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A psychopath forces a tennis star to comply with his theory that two strangers can get away with murder.

Director:

Alfred Hitchcock

Writers:

Raymond Chandler (screen play), Czenzi Ormonde (screen play) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
3,516 ( 45)
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

The relationship between Raymond Chandler and Sir Alfred Hitchcock was not a happy one. The main bone of contention between the two men was that Chandler's writing paid more attention to character motivation, while Hitchcock was more interested in the visual development and formal structure of the movie laid out in the treatment. In a letter to a studio executive, Chandler said he preferred to work with a director "who realizes that what is said and how it is said is more important than shooting it upside down through a glass of champagne." The two men also had different meeting styles. Hitchcock enjoyed long, rambling off-topic meetings where often the movie would not even be mentioned for hours, while Chandler was strictly business and wanted to get out and get writing. He called the meetings "god-awful jabber sessions which seem to be an inevitable although painful part of the picture business." Chandler was also a hard drinker and a difficult person with whom to get along under the best of circumstances. Interpersonal relations deteriorated rapidly until finally Chandler became openly combative. When Hitchcock arrived at Chandler's house for a story meeting, Chandler hollered from his window, "Look at the fat bastard trying to get out of his car!" When his secretary warned that Hitchcock might be able to hear him, Chandler said he didn't care. See more »

Goofs

When Bruno is following Miriam on the carousel, the speed of the background is not consistent with the next shot when the carousel is coming to a stop. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Bruno Anthony: I beg your pardon, but aren't you Guy Haines?
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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

Featured in Throw Momma from the Train (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

Oh! You Beautiful Doll
(1911) (uncredited)
Music by Nat Ayer
Played when Bruno is helping the blind man cross the street
Also played when the police arrive during the last amusement park scene
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Strangers on a Train - a Review by Jo Henshaw
15 June 2000 | by johenshawSee all my reviews

"Lets swap Murders- your wife, my father"- seemingly innocent conversation between two strangers - Bruno Anthony and Guy Haines when they meet over lunch on a train journey. Guy, a solid, respectable tennis player, whose problem is that his wife, the flirtatious Miriam, won't divorce him so he can marry senators daughter Anne, laughs the whole conversation off as a joke. The following week he isn't laughing any more. In a scene of classic Hitchcock suspense, Bruno stalks Miriam through a carnival and strangles her. As he does, her glasses fall off and we see the murder eerily reflected twice through her lenses. Cold hearted and amoral Bruno, his part of the deal completed, approaches an appalled Guy expecting, even pressuring him into 'doing his bit.' Matters are not helped when Anne's precocious and outspoken younger sister turns up suspecting Guy of Miriam's murder. So accused of a murder he didn't commit and expected to commit another, what is Guy going to do? The power of this film is in the presentation of human beings as having a murderous side to their nature - and this Hitchcock does to perfection.


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