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Strangers on a Train

One of Hitchcock's biggest hits and most suspenseful thrillers, 1951's STRANGERS ON A TRAIN was a much needed hit for the director after a string of box office flops.

Hitch always loved putting an innocent man in the position of being mistaken for a killer. This time it's dashing Farley Granger (Rope) as tennis pro Guy Haines.

During a train commute, Guy meets quirky oddball Bruno (played against type perfectly by Robert Walker). Bruno complains about his father and Guy chimes in about his soon to be ex-wife. Bruno almost immediately describes a quid pro quo murder plan in which he'll get rid of Guy's ex if Guy knocks off his Dad.

Guy thinks its a joke and goes about his business.

Of course everything he proceeds to do seems to incriminate him when his ex is strangled at a carnival by Bruno and left for dead.

Hitch's stylistic, frank (for the time) depiction of the strangling still packs plenty of visual power.

Soon the police are speaking to Guy and Bruno seems to be hiding around every corner, coaxing Guy to complete his half of the murder deal.

To say more would compromise the terrific story telling by famed novelist/screenwriter Raymond Chandler and Hitchcock.

The tennis match scene is legendary. The finale at the Carnival is fantastic, including that runaway merry-go-round, spinning madly as Guy and Bruno battle to the death.

That old maintenance worker crawling under the merry go round was done for real, no stunt man! Hitch said it was the scariest stunt he ever filmed.

Hitchcock's daughter Patricia plays Barbara very well and also directed her father's cameo.

Well shot, perfectly directed and suspenseful as hell, STRANGERS ON A TRAIN gets an A.

Hitch got on a roll after this hit, with "Dial M for Murder", "Rear Window" and "To Catch a Thief"!

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