FilmSpoiler-Free Reviews

Flashback Friday: Strangers on a Train (1951)

This is the first edition of Flashback Friday and I thought I would start with a film that I’ve only recently got the opportunity to watch for the first time. I had heard only good things about this film, and given that it’s from one of my favourite directors I knew I would be in for something special.

Strangers on a Train is a thriller about two men, a crazy socialite named Bruno and a professional tennis player named Guy who meet on a train and get to talking. Bruno tells Guy about a theory he has about how two people can get away with two murders: quite simply, they perform each other’s murders so that it cannot be traced back to either of them.

It’s so crazy it might just work. At least Bruno thinks so. Which is why he is determined to make it happen, even if Guy isn’t.

Strangers on a Train is Alfred Hitchcock before North by Northwest, before Rear Window and before Psycho. I’ve seen all three of those and this ranks highly among them.

It’s classic Hitchcock: sharp dialogue, memorable characters, cinematography before it’s time, a tense climax and superb acting all round, but most notable from Robert Walker (Bruno) who tragically passed away the year this film was released.
I would recommend this classic to fans of Hitchcock and old thriller that modern films were built on.

Rating: 9/10

Dean Ravell

Writer/director. Fascinated with all kinds of film and just wants to be part of the wonderful world of cinema.


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