Strangers on a Train (1951) - Rotten Tomatoes

Strangers on a Train (1951)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

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

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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, Bruno discusses the theory of "exchange murders." Suppose that Bruno were to murder Guy's wife, and Guy in exchange were to kill Bruno's father? With no known link between the two men, the police would be none the wiser, would they? When he reaches his destination, Guy bids goodbye to Bruno, thinking nothing more of the affable but rather curious young man's homicidal theories. And then, Guy's wife turns up strangled to death. Co-adapted by Raymond Chandler from a novel by Patricia Highsmith, Strangers on a Train perfectly exemplifies Hitchcock's favorite theme of the evil that lurks just below the surface of everyday life and ordinary men. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Cast

Farley Granger
as Guy Haines
Robert Walker
as Bruno Antony
Ruth Roman
as Anne Morton
Leo G Carroll
as Sen. Morton
Patricia Hitchcock
as Barbara Morton
Marion Lorne
as Mrs. Antony
Kasey Rogers
as Miriam Joyce Haines
Jonathan Hale
as Mr. Antony
Howard St. John
as Capt. Turley
Norma Varden
as Mrs. Cunningham
Laura Elliot
as Miriam Haines
John Brown
as Prof. Collins
Robert Gist
as Hennessey
Dick Wessel
as Baggage Man
Edward Clark
as Mr. Hargreaves
Al Hill
as Concessionaire
Edna Holland
as Mrs. Joyce
Dick Ryan
as Minister
Tommy Farrell
as Miriam's Boyfriend
Rolland Morris
as Miriam's Boyfriend
Murray Alper
as Boatman
John K. Butler
as Blind Man
Roy Engel
as Policeman
Joel Allen
as Policeman
Edward Hearn
as Sgt. Campbell
Georges Renavent
as Mons. Darville
Odette Myrtil
as Mme. Darville
Charles Meredith
as Judge Dolan
Monya Andre
as Dowager
Laura Treadwell
as Mrs. Anderson
Joe Warfield
as Seedy Man
Harry Hines
as Man Under Merry-Go-Round
Alfred Hitchcock
as Man Boarding Train With Bass Fiddle
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News & Interviews for Strangers on a Train

Critic Reviews for Strangers on a Train

All Critics (42) | Top Critics (6)

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.

Full Review… | August 30, 2009
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | February 4, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top 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.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | January 15, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top 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.

Full Review… | February 13, 2001
Variety
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
New York Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Strangers on a Train

An overrated thriller that does have a gorgeous cinematography and an intriguing premise but whose development has its share of unnecessary narrative flaws and drags unforgivably, feeling bloated (and even tiresome) with scenes that are elongated for too long.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

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.

Jim Hunter
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

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

Christian C
Christian C

Super Reviewer

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