A chance meeting on a train brings together a lackadaisical playboy, Bruno, and an innocuous tennis player, Guy. Bruno explains how he despises his domineering father, while goading Guy into discussing his messy divorce with his cheating spouse. Bruno then confides in Guy, relating his theory about how two strangers could get away with the perfect murders if they were to crisscross their victims in order to allude the police. Shortly thereafter, Bruno puts the plot into motion despite Guy's reluctance in order to blackmail Guy into performing his role in the sinister ploy. STRANGERS ON A TRAIN is a masterful suspense thriller that displays some of Hitchcock's finest work. His command of the medium shows the same level of control, precision, and artfulness that would carry over into his later films. Hitchcock establishes complex, multi-layered characters in Bruno, Guy, and each of the side players both through the clever script and his superior use of visual storytelling. Robert Walker and Farley Granger are each fantastic in their respective roles, with Walker demonstrating a calculated fanaticism and Granger playing his innocent and powerless pawn. Miriam's unforgettable death at the hands of Bruno marks the height of STRANGERS' suspense and stylization, and serves as a cinematic milestone. STRANGERS ON A TRAIN may be one of Hitchcock's lesser-known films, but the careful craftsmanship is befitting of the Master of Suspense.
If you liked STRANGERS ON A TRAIN, check out:
DIABOLIQUE, REAR WINDOW, DIAL "M" FOR MURDER.
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