101 minutes| U.S.A.| 1951| Black and White| 35mm

This film screened in April 2010.

Misleadingly hailed at the time as a ‘return to form’ by critics unimpressed with the merits of its more experimental predecessors, Rope and Under Capricorn, Strangers on a Train did mark a reassuring return to the familiar Hitchcock territory of the fast-action suspense thriller. Raymond Chandler was among the writers who adapted Patricia Highsmith’s story of an exchange of murders between two contrasting males. Bruno (Robert Walker) takes the initiative, openly inviting the murder of his oppressive father; for the respectable Guy (Farley Granger), the desire for his wife’s death is something he cannot acknowledge so openly, but soon his unconscious wishes have been carried out for him. The psychological complexities that this opens up are exploited in a film full of spectacular set-pieces, brilliantly edited in the old Hitchcock manner: from the initial station scene where the two strangers meet to the fairground climax on an out-of-control carousel.

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