5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Masters great films
To start off, I should first state that, for the most part, most of Alfred Hitchcocks films are uniformly excellent by any standards. What sets Rear Window, Vertigo, Psycho, North By Northwest and say, perhaps, Shadow Of A Doubt apart from the rest of his films is best described in one word, cleaverness. In fact the phrase, "He was a cleaver fellow" is mentioned...
Published on Sep 25 2004 by R. Kahn
3.0 out of 5 stars Criss-Cross
This review refers to the Warner Bros. DVD edition of "Strangers On a Train".....
Had I only been reviewing the film alone, there is no doubt I would go 5 stars for this great film. Five stars hardly covers it for this cinematic work of art, that defines the genius of Alfred Hitchcock. But alas, the transfer to DVD will be a big disapointment to Hitch fans, as...
Published on Jan 2 2004 by L. Shirley
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Masters great films,
This review is from: Strangers on a Train (2-Disc Special Edition) (DVD)To start off, I should first state that, for the most part, most of Alfred Hitchcocks films are uniformly excellent by any standards. What sets Rear Window, Vertigo, Psycho, North By Northwest and say, perhaps, Shadow Of A Doubt apart from the rest of his films is best described in one word, cleaverness. In fact the phrase, "He was a cleaver fellow" is mentioned in another very cleaver film, Strangers On A Train. An early 50's masterpiece that has stood the test of time and continues to enthrall viewers. The final carney sequence is probably studied by more film schoolers than any scene from any well constucted film. The real genius here is how the story builds starting with a chance meeting between two strangers. Bruno Anthony (with robust flair deceptive motivation) is played by Robert Walker. He meets up with top seated tennis player, Guy Haines (Farley Granger).Both of them have the same problems in common; there are people in their lives that must die. Now, in todays day in age of murder and mayhem in film, a simple clean strangulation like the one perpetrated by_____, may not come off as satisfying enough to the blood thirsy viewer. However, Hitchcock uses the camera lens and inventive ways of showing the process of murder. Unlike Sam Peckinpah who would make sure you felt every aspect of the killing, Hitch uses shadow and light, with the help of a pair of bifocals.
The acting is great. Pat Hitchcock has her greatest screen role in this one and does a good job. Along with Psycho, this is one of only two films in which Alfred's daughter had a part. The part she plays here is a supporting role that is more prominent than the one in Psycho where she plays Marion Cranes co-worker at the bank.
From the very interesting concept used in the opening of the film to the spectacular ending, this is a film not to be missed.
I would rate Strangers On A Train as one of the top 8 Alfred Hitchcock films. Can you say "MCguffin".
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Misinformed,
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I will be strong.....maybe (fingers crossed),
This review is from: Strangers on a Train (2-Disc Special Edition) (DVD)First I will say this is a classic film that doesn't contain one wasted minute. It's always been one of my favorites and have always shown it to friends as an introduction to these films due to their lack of Hitchcock experience. But what I will say here and now is I WILL NOT BUY THIS SPECIAL EDITION!!! I have the original release and it has served me well these past years. I could have lived my whole life without the knowledge of a special edition with all sorts of those goodies and I would have been fine... It will probably have commentary, interviews, ohh that sounds enchanting...I DON"T CARE. I MUST be strong and resist the temptation of re-buying it. I know I've made this pledge on several hundred occasions with... oh you know, Planet of the apes, Casablanca, Blazing Saddles etc,etc. Yes I caved on those countless occasions but NOT THIS TIME!! But for anyone who doesn't own this dvd at all, I would recommend you do. But don't talk to me about it because I'm perfectly happy with my one disc copy OK!! Warner brothers among others have been pulling these scams for years with these re-issues, and you know who the victoms are. Yes... Yes.. that would be me. But not this time because my family have received enough free bare bones dvd's from me and it ends today. Forget it Amazon! No preorders from this sucker... HA HA!!
5.0 out of 5 stars Completely Classic,
Wonderful. Pick it up.
5.0 out of 5 stars Crisscross,
By A Customer
This review is from: Strangers on a Train (VHS Tape)After the spectacular successes of "Notorious" and "Spellbound" Alfred Hitchcock went into a five year box-office slump that had him seriously rattled. He broke out again in 1951 with "Strangers," a fable about a tennis player (Farley Granger) whose murderous private thoughts are brought horrifically to life through his chance encounter with a maniac (Robert Walker). Be careful what your wish for, you may get it, is Hitchcock's theme, and he never did a better job of exploring the border between our civilized and barbaric impulses than in this project. This is usually the performance for which Walker is best remembered, completed shortly before he drank himself to death. The murder of Granger's wife is still shocking even today and there are numerous other scenes just as riveting which Hitchcock tossed off with such ease when his visual imagination was stimulated. Novelist Raymond Chandler got a script credit, but according to Hitchcock biographer Donald Spoto none of Chandler's material was used.
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of Hitchcock's american films,
Since the beginning , (you know as well like me), that the champion tennis Guy (another Hitchcok's irony) Haines is not a model of virtue (The same occurs with another two films, like Grace Kelly in Dial M for Murder , and Janet Leigh in Psycho; both of them commit adultery and Leigh also is a thief) and Bruno who's just very clear about his human condition and seems not having problem with that (in a stunning performance of Robert Walker; maybe the best of his career) , like a devil's messenger , proposes an unusual arrangement: a criss cross murders.
Obviously, the villain materializes his part in the arrangement (giving his gentleman's word) (another thrown glow to audience from Hitchcock) , but our inmature Guy seems to get on the line with the ethics?, less by conviction than by fear (another Hitchcock's cynical rapture).
Watch this film. Since I did it (in 1972) I was sure this picture was among the five best of him and it made me glad to know that the well known video guide entitled Facets stated that Strangers for their criterion, was the best film of that year, evem above "From here to the eternity". A syncronization or a happy coincidence?
Remade as "Once you kiss a stranger" and clear inspiration for Danny de Vito in "Throw moma from the train".
Remember: the DVD contains two versions ; the american and the english; I'd rather the last one.
5.0 out of 5 stars Save your money, restored version coming,
5.0 out of 5 stars Could be Hitch's finest creation.,
P.S, this DVD version includes versions with the American ending and the British ending, neither of which i'll spoil for you - but you'll be able to pick which you like better.
5.0 out of 5 stars Spooky!,
3.0 out of 5 stars Criss-Cross,
Had I only been reviewing the film alone, there is no doubt I would go 5 stars for this great film. Five stars hardly covers it for this cinematic work of art, that defines the genius of Alfred Hitchcock. But alas, the transfer to DVD will be a big disapointment to Hitch fans, as it was not given the attention this treasure deserved.
First the story... Even if you didn't know this was a Hitch film, you will immediatley recognize this as a work from the master of suspense. All the tell-tale trademarks are there. As the film opens, the camera work brillantly shows everything in pairs. Two pairs of shoes, from what are obviously two very different styles of dress,two pairs of railroad tracks criss-crossing, and finally the two very different men that fill the shoes... have a chance meeting. Guy Haines,professional tennis player and an upright kind of guy, and Bruno Antony, a mysterious,slick fellow have a conversation. Guy, it seems has an unfaithful wife, who won't divorce him, so he can be with the woman he loves. Bruno has a deep resentment for his father.It is then we learn how really psychotic Bruno is. His idea...a "Criss-Cross"."I'll do your murder"..he tells Guy "and you do mine".Guy sluffs off this very chilling notion, but soon learns that Bruno is not going to let it go. Soon Guy finds himself as a murder suspect and must prove his innocence.
The story, with the screenplay by Raymond Chandler and Czenzi Ormonde, is suspensed filled and as in all Hitchcock films, we feel the need to warn the hero, but can only sit and watch with our hearts in our throats.The shadows, light, and expert camera work all add to the thrill of it all.Hitch as usual picks the perfect cast. Farley Granger as Guy has you in his corner all the way. Robert Walker couldn't be any more chilling. Rounding out the cast with wonderful performances are Ruth Roman, Patricia Hitchcock, Leo G Carroll, who appears in many of Hitch's films and always immaculate, and for a real treat look for Marion Lorne, the beloved 'Aunt Clara" from "Bewitched".The music by Dimitri Tiomkin is masterfully chilling as well.
Looking for Hitch....You won't have to wait long..about ten minutes in..more double trouble as Hitch boards a train with his 'double' bass fiddle.
Now for the DVD transfer. There's good news and bad news. The good news is that this disc contains the recently discovered British pre-release. This version has been edited differently in some places as Hitch felt certain scenes would play better in England, and some better in the states.You'll find some production notes included explaining the reasons. There is also an old publicity newsreel of Hitch promoting his film, and although there is no sound it is still fun to watch. There are subtitles in English, French and Spanish, and may be viewed in French as well.The bad news..as mentioned above the transfer itself. The black and white images, seemed dingy. Jump to almost any scene and you will see signs of age. It is scratchy and grainey. The sound is in DD1.0. Some enhancement would be a welcome addition(we want to hear every sound that Hitch intended).It really pains me to go three stars for this treasure..but I can only recommend the film and not the DVD.
This was a pretty intense film way back in 1951 and still is today! Unless you are as crazy for Hitch as I am(and feel an intense need to have everything every filmed by him), you may want to wait and hope for a better release(Warner Bros..are you listening?).If by some chance, you have not seen it though, and love a great film-noir..rent it, borrow it, do whatever it takes to see this classic.
It's a geat ride....Laurie
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Strangers on a Train [Blu-ray] [Import] (Blu-ray - 2012)
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