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Strangers on a Train (1951)



Average Rating: 8.8/10
Reviews Counted: 42
Fresh: 41 | Rotten: 1

A provocative premise and inventive set design lights the way for Hitchcock diabolically entertaining masterpiece.


Average Rating: 7.3/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 1

A provocative premise and inventive set design lights the way for Hitchcock diabolically entertaining masterpiece.



liked it
Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 34,342

My Rating

Movie Info

In one of Alfred Hitchcock's suspense classics, tennis pro Guy Haines (Farley Granger) chances to meet wealthy wastrel Bruno Anthony (Robert Walker) on a train. Having read all about Guy, Bruno is aware that the tennis player is trapped in an unhappy marriage to to wife Miriam (Laura Elliott) and has been seen in the company of senator's daughter Ann Morton (Ruth Roman). Baiting Guy, Bruno reveals that he feels trapped by his hated father (Jonathan Hale). As Guy listens with detached amusement,


Mystery & Suspense

Aug 27, 1997

Warner Home Video

Watch It Now


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All Critics (42) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (41) | Rotten (1) | DVD (25)

Winds up with a scene in which a merry-go-round goes wild, spins like a pin wheel, and crashes in a gaudy blaze of explosions that no earthly carrousel could touch off. The movie itself is the same way: implausible but intriguing and great fun to ride.

August 30, 2009 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Perhaps Strangers on a Train still hasn't yielded all its secrets.

February 4, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Hitchcock erects a web of guilt around Granger, who 'agreed' to his wife's murder, a murder that suits him very well, and structures his film around a series of set pieces, ending with a paroxysm of violence on a circus carousel.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Hitchcock was above all the master of great visual set pieces, and there are several famous sequences in Strangers on a Train.

January 15, 2004 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Given a good basis for a thriller in the Patricia Highsmith novel and a first-rate script, Hitchcock embroiders the plot into a gripping, palm-sweating piece of suspense.

February 13, 2001 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

...his basic premise of fear fired by menace is so thin and so utterly unconvincing that the story just does not stand.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: New York Times | Comments (4)
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Rousing thriller with creative fairground scenes and much about technology.

August 2, 2013 Full Review Source: Classic Film and Television
Classic Film and Television

With typical consummate verve, Hitch unfolds a story filled with twists, turns and dramatic contrasts.

April 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Arguably one of Hitchcock's masterpieces, this intrguing film deals with all the autuer's issues, including the double motif, moral ambiguity, fine line between hero and villain.

May 5, 2012 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

Classic nail-biter is a must for thriller fans.

January 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

the work most necessary for a deeper appreciation of Hitchcock's late masterpieces.

August 1, 2008 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

Even more marvelous after a second viewing

February 17, 2008 Full Review Source: Film and Felt
Film and Felt

Hitchcock's handling of the suspense is deadly effective and a quality cast breathe life into some delicious dialogue.

February 4, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4

The prototypical Hitchcock thrill ride.

October 14, 2005 Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star
Arizona Daily Star

Alfred Hitchcock's "Strangers on a Train" is about weakness crisscrossing with evil, with evil pushing hard for the upper hand. Nobody comes away unscathed.

November 16, 2004
Bangor Daily News (Maine)

worthy vehicle that displays Hitchcock's narrative ability and explores some of his favorite themes

October 27, 2004 Full Review Source: Old School Reviews
Old School Reviews

Most of the film is a journey through pure Hitchcockian irony and suspense, and well worth the trip.

September 22, 2004 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Patricia Highsmith's malicious writing seems perfectly suited to Alfred Hitchcock.

September 20, 2004 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Walker's creepy performance ranks among the best found in any Hitchcock film.

September 13, 2004 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

To ignore the subtext during the runaway carousel climax is to be absolutely blind.

September 6, 2004 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Two men, a problem, and a crime is an old theme, but the list of works that exploit it perfectly is a short one. Strangers on a Train belongs on it.

July 26, 2004 Full Review Source:

As sleek, taut and breezy an entertainment as Hitchcock ever made, and a nice hinge moment, almost exactly in the middle of the black-and-white and color phases of his American career.

November 28, 2003 Full Review Source: Oregonian

Audience Reviews for Strangers on a Train

A chance meeting between two strangers leads to a proposition that they "trade murders."
This is a fantastic thriller. The master of suspense unravels a compelling tale of a psychopath manipulating an average Joe into a complex murder plot. The one complaint I had with the film is that the characters are too black and white. There's never a chance that the "good guy" will yield to the "bad guy's" intentions, which would represent of a blurring of the "good" and "evil" lines and make for a more interesting character study.
Overall, with Hitch's incredible eye for glittering set pieces, human psychology, and gripping suspense, this is one of the best suspense films of all time.
October 3, 2013
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

Pretty good film, but Hitchcock's done more exciting ones.
June 19, 2013

Super Reviewer

A bonafide suspense classic concerning an up-and-coming tennis player (Farley Granger) who meets a psychopath (Robert Walker) on a train by chance, and how the troubled man thinks he strikes a deal with the athlete on him murdering his girlfriend if he murders his father. Only, that's not the case at all. Another successful Hitchcock noir isn't as good as some of his best work ("Rear Window" to name one), but it is still a really skillfully done movie that goes by fast and has one of the more exciting conclusions to a Hitchcock film that I have seen. It does have a few holes story wise, but the performances from Granger and Walker alone make this worthy of a view, and it is not hard to fall in love with how Hitchcock shoots his films, as well as the music he selects to raise the hair on the back of your neck at the precise, appropriate time.
October 19, 2012
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

I figured this would be good, given that it's Hitchcock, but I didn't expect it to be quite *this* stellar. This is an absolutely outstanding, tense, and creepy suspense thriller that easily ranks up there as one of Hitch's perfect films.

The plot is rather typical stuff: a chance encounter between two men who have a problem with someone they'd like to murder come up with a plan where each man commits the other's murder, leaving them motiveless and the other person free and clear.

Of course, nothing is that simple, and unhealthy attachments, miscommunications, and psychoses lead to a tense and thrilling cat and mouse game between the two gentlemen, who first met, as simply nothing more than strangers on a train.

The premise is nothing extremely great, but the execution is where this film truly shines. Loaded up with lots of symbols, themes, and motifs involving doubles, duality, light and dark, this is a gorgeous film that can easily be studied and analyzed for quite some time. And, true to the themes, there are two version of the film: the original theatrical cut, and a slightly longer British pre-release version. The big difference is that the British version is a little more overt in showing the homoerotic undertones and just how psychotic one of the leads is. Either version is worth your time, as I really felt neither edged out the other.

The performances, especially by Robert Walker, and tremendous. The cinematography and camera work are absolutely gorgeous, with a crisp black and white that evokes the finest of film noirs. There's some truly brilliant moments as well, whether it is the memorable climax or a murder scene shown from the reflection of the victim's glasses. That shot alone is one they probably show in film classes, and it truly is a marvelous moment.

All in all of course you need to see this! It's Hitch, it's suspenseful, it's artistically stunning, and as far as thrill rides go, it's quite a rush.
October 2, 2012
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

    1. Bruno Anthony: Guy, you're ruining everything.
    – Submitted by George P (9 months ago)
    1. Man: He's the one. He's the one who killed her.
    – Submitted by Donald M (11 months ago)
    1. Ann Morton: How did you get him to do it?
    – Submitted by Donald M (11 months ago)
    1. Guy Haines: Oh skip it, Miriam. It's pretty late to start flirting with a discarded husband.
    – Submitted by Ursula N (22 months ago)
    1. Guy Haines: Doesn't that bloodhound ever relax? He sticks so close he's beginning to grow on me, like a fungus.
    – Submitted by Chad E (3 years ago)
    1. Guy Haines: When an alibi is full of bourbon, sir, it can't stand up.
    – Submitted by Chad E (3 years ago)
View all quotes (7)

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