Friday, December 7, 2012

Strangers on a Train (Alfred Hitchcock, 1951) Review

I think it's finally time to review a film from Alfred Hitchcock, don't you think. He's one of the most iconic directors of all time (and a film based on him with Anthony Hopkins as Hitchcock) so it only figures that I finally get round to one of his films. Which one? One of the first Hitchcock films I ever saw, Strangers on a Train. How well does it stack up compared with his more famous ones? Let's find out.

Bruno Anthony (Robert Walker) has a plan to finally get rid of his father but it involves tennis player Guy Haines (Farley Granger) who Bruno met while on a train ride. They agreed to 'criss-cross' murders so that there would be not connection between these two strangers....on a train.Naturally, Guy thinks that Bruno is joking and simply humours him. Turns out thought that Bruno was serious and goes through with it. Now the police grow suspicious of Haines and now has to prove that Bruno had a influence on a murder...go and guess who the murderer really.

It's a bit of a simple idea but it works well. It leads to a suspenseful film which is par for the course with Hitchcock. This is mostly down to the two characters. Guy Haines is a very naive person who is just trying to get on with his life while Bruno Anthony is an insane person who has no problem with murder. That contrast is excellent and is the main driving force of the movie. Grant Walker is excellent as Bruno and, while Farley Granger is a bit bland, he's still a good character.

There are some excellent scenes, especially he action scenes. This is both a dialogue driven and action driven film so it's fine for a general audience. It's a very good looking film and Hitchcock clearly knew what he was doing when making this film (considering he has a cameo appearance as always) and is a better film for it. Sure the secondary cast is a bit bland but everything else is good.

I think that this is one of the better Hitchcock films but is sadly overlooked. Most people just watch Psycho and The Birds. The idea is great, the actors are pretty good for the most part and it's full of suspense. If you haven't seen this film, I would recommend that you check it out especially if you're a fan of Hitchcock or just suspenseful films in general.

A suspenseful film with some great acting. There are a few aspects that seem a bit bland and dated but nothing that will sour the film.

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