Strangers on a Train (1951)

Strangers on a Train Movie Review

…………………………………………………

Strangers on a Train Movie Review

Strangers on a Train is a 1951 thriller noir film directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Farley Granger and Robert Walker. It is one of the director’s better films.

………………………………………………….

Poor unfortunate girl.

She was a tramp.

She was a human being. Let me remind you that

even the most unworthy of us have a right to

life and the pursuit of happiness.

From what I’ve heard she pursued it in all directions

………………………………………………….

Strangers on a Train Movie Review

………………………………………………….

The story of two strangers who meet on a train and arrange to exchange murders is a very intriguing one and not to mention highly original and unlike any other story in thrillers. But the reason why this story works so well is because it is not as implausible as it might seem at first. The psychopath Bruno kills Guy’s girlfriend, but Guy doesn’t want to complete “the end of his bargain”. That made the movie much more plausible and entertaining as it led to more suspense.

The film is not perfect and it isn’t one of the greatest Hitchcock films. It is one of the better ones, but not one of the best ones and that’s mostly because it doesn’t hold quite as well upon second viewing as some of its flaws crept up on me only now. One of those flaws is the ending. It is very intriguing in its setting and really well executed, but too much of a spectacle. Also, some scenes were obvious and sometimes Bruno wasn’t the smartest guy he claimed to be. And the film is very much a repeat of ‘Rope’ in terms of the villain and the themes and I have to say that ‘Rope’ is the more accomplished of the two.

………………………………………………….

Strangers on a Train Movie Review

………………………………………………….

But still Strangers on a Train is a very good, competent film which benefits from many unforgettable scenes. I absolutely loved that hall scene where Bruno stands why Guy passes by in a car. That was visually arresting. The tennis match was well utilized into the suspense and the story, the cigarette case in the sewer was stupendously filmed and I loved the scene at Bruno’s house.

The characters are very well established and especially their motifs. Both Bruno and Guy are excellent and especially Bruno is such a memorable villain. Robert Walker played him so well and it’s a shame that he passed away at such a young age of 32 two months after this film’s release. All of the actors did a good job, but as in ‘Rope’, I again am not a fan of Farley Granger. This role fits him, but his performance once again left a lot to be desired.

Strangers on a Train succeeds the most in its technical aspects. The striking black-and-white photography is stunning here and the film is so suspenseful and visually remarkable in some scenes that it definitely belongs in the noir genre as well as the thriller one. The cinematography is so exceptional that it manages to create a very suspenseful atmosphere. The dialogue is also terrific and I really liked the film’s humor.

………………………………………………….

Strangers on a Train Movie Review

………………………………………………….

Yes, Hitchcock was very talented at humor too which not a lot of people realize. The humorous scenes here are rare, but they are definitely there and some lines of dialogue and facial expressions honestly made me laugh.

So the film is a very entertaining mix of light and dark, serious and comedic and it is delightfully atmospheric and dangerous from start to finish, not to mention highly authentic in premise and also in execution. It’s flawed, but certainly one of the director’s most purely fun flicks.

Strangers on a Train has its flaws such as the ending which wasn’t my cup of tea, but it surely is one of Hitchcock’s better films which features a highly memorable villain and a very authentic and fun premise wonderfully executed. There are a lot of unforgettable moments here and the film succeeds the most in its striking black-and-white cinematography, an amusing sense of humor and a suspenseful atmosphere.

My Rating – 4.5

Share
Posted in 1950s, 1951, FILM DECADES, MOVIE REVIEWS, Noir, Thriller and tagged , , , , , , , .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.