- Actors: Farley Granger, Ruth Roman, Robert Walker, Leo G. Carroll, Patricia Hitchcock
- Directors: Alfred Hitchcock
- Format: NTSC, Import
- Language: English
- Region: All Regions
- Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1
- Number of discs: 1
- MPAA Rating:
- Studio: Warner Home Video
- Release Date: Oct. 9 2012
- Run Time: 101.00 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 88 customer reviews
- ASIN: B008DMQDZS
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Strangers on a Train [Blu-ray] [Import]
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Strangers On A Train (BD) [Blu-ray]
From its cleverly choreographed opening sequence to its heart-stopping climax on a rampant carousel, this 1951 Hitchcock classic readily earns its reputation as one of the director's finest examples of timeless cinematic suspense. It's not just a ripping-good thriller but a film student's delight and a perversely enjoyable battle of wits between tennis pro Guy (Farley Granger) and his mysterious, sycophantic admirer, Bruno (Robert Walker), who proposes a "criss-cross" scheme of traded murders. Bruno agrees to kill Guy's unfaithful wife, in return for which Guy will (or so it seems) kill Bruno's spiteful father. With an emphasis on narrative and visual strategy, Hitchcock controls the escalating tension with a master's flair for cinematic design, and the plot (coscripted by Raymond Chandler) is so tightly constructed that you'll be white-knuckled even after multiple viewings. Better still, the two-sided DVD edition of this enduring classic includes both the original version of the film and also the longer prerelease British print, which offers a more overt depiction of Bruno's flamboyant and dangerous personality, and his homoerotic attraction to Guy by way of his deviously indecent proposal. In accordance with the cautious censorship guidelines of the period, Hitchcock would later tame these elements of Walker's memorable performance by trimming and altering certain scenes, so the differences between the original and prerelease versions provide an illuminating illustration of censorship's effect on the story's thematic intensity. Beyond all the historical footnotes and film-buff fascination, Strangers on a Train remains one of Hitchcock's crowning achievements and a suspenseful classic that never loses its capacity to thrill and delight. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to an alternate Blu-ray edition.See all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
The acting is superb in this movie, particularly Robert Walker, a perfect bad-boy/psychopath and also Pat Hitchcock, who was perfect in her role as Ruth Roman's sister. The look of terror on her face at one point in the film during the party scene is just priceless. Made my hair stand on end almost. ;-)
Great acting, great sets and photography, suspense, romance...this one has it all.
Such a scenario is what drives "Strangers on a Train," one of Alfred Hitchcock's more oddball movies. The performance by Robert Walker as a fey, psychopathic man-child is absolutely stunning, and the creepy tension of the story is wonderfully unnerving. It's almost enough to make you not notice how weird the entire climax is.
Tennis star Guy Haines (Farley Granger) is heading back to his hometown to divorce his nasty wife Miriam (Laura Elliott), who is pregnant by another man. While on the train, he encounters a gushing fan named Bruno Anthony (Robert Walker) who has found out all about Guy's woes from the tabloids. He proposes "criss-cross" murders -- he'll murder Miriam, and Guy will murder his dad.
Guy thinks that Bruno is just a random weirdo... until Miriam is found strangled. Now Guy is the primary suspect in her murder, and he also has Bruno stalking him with demands that Guy kill his dad. Guy's girlfriend Anne (Ruth Roman) begins to figure out what is going on in her fiance's life, even as Guy struggles to find a way out of this mess without being implicated by Bruno.
Alfred Hitchcock had a special knack for coming up with "realistic" nightmares -- people unjustly accused of crimes, often trapped in a horrible situation that they can't really get free of. "Strangers on a Train" has that fun scenario, but adds the extra joy of a celebrity stalker who is trying to force the protagonist to commit murder.
As the plot coils around Guy, Hitchcock weaves his usual web of tightly-wound suspense (Bruno nearly strangles a society matron) and dry comedy (everything Barbara says). The creepiest part of the story about Bruno is that once Guy stupidly fails to go to the police, he becomes Bruno's prisoner. Bruno has him in his power, and he plans to use that power to get his way.
And then... there's the climax. It becomes incredibly weird when Guy gets to the amusement park, with a shoot-out on a spinning exploding carousel. I can only assume this entire climax was tongue-in-cheek, because it's a complete tonal shift from the rest of the movie.
Robert Walker -- who sadly died soon after filming this role -- is absolute perfection as Bruno. He's a fey, petulant little socialite who seems to have a psychopathic fixation on Guy, and his behavior indicates that he's also a sort of self-absorbed child-man who throws tantrums if he doesn't get his way. He certainly more than compensates for Roman and Granger, who are sort of bland and forgettable.
Also, Patricia Hitchcock is hilarious. Obviously she had this role because her dad was the director, but she is incredibly funny as a murder-obsessed, brutally-honest teenager ("From what I hear she pursued it in all directions").
"Strangers on a Train" has a really weird ending that doesn't match what comes before, but the great performance of Robert Walker and the brilliantly tense story make up for it.
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.
The re-release version includes the full length British release version included in the original SOAT dvd. The commentary is great and the transfer itself is excellent. I appreciated a bit of the film grain included in the original Warner Brothers version as old B&W movies that look too perfect, end up looking too different than we remembered them.
I would rate Strangers On A Train as one of the top 8 Alfred Hitchcock films. Can you say "MCguffin".