movie film review | chris tookey

Strangers On A Train

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  Strangers On  A Train Review
Tookey's Rating
8 /10
Average Rating
8.94 /10
Farley Granger, Ruth Roman, Robert Walker
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Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
Written by: Raymond Chandler, Czenzi Ormonde, Whitfield Cook from Patricia Highsmith's novel

Released: 1951
Origin: US
Length: 101

Psychopath Bruno (Robert Walker, pictured right) murders wife of unhappily married tennis player Guy (Farley Granger, left), then expects Guy to return the favour by killing Bruno's overbearing father.
Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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A terrific thriller, with mounting suspense and cracking set-pieces mainly disguising the plot contrivances. Let-downs are that Guy is so much less charismatic than Bruno, and that leading lady Ruth Roman, as the senator's daughter Guy hopes to marry, is a cold fish.

Always the consummate technician, Hitchcock is also skilful at suggesting (mainly by intercutting the one with the other) that Bruno represents the darker, suppressed side of Guy's personality.

Robert Walker, himself a mentally unstable alcoholic unlucky in love, gave his best performance in this movie, which was to prove his last (he died at 32, of respiratory failure after a sedative administered by his psychiatrist).

In the version re-released in 1999, there's slightly more of the scene where Bruno chats up Guy on board the train, and the jokey epilogue has been cut - to no great effect, one way or the other. Though it never quite attains the formal perfection of masterpieces like Rear Window, Vertigo or The Lady Vanishes, it is one of those movies that everyone should experience.

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