|Fig 1 - Strangers on a Train Poster|
The film would stand as Robert Walker's final big-screen success before dying tragically at the age of thirty-two in the year of it's release. Walker's ludicrously droll performance absolutely steals the show here, with bourgeois mother's-boy Bruno Anthony dominating every second of screen-time. His underlying creepiness and overuse of Guy's name reminded me to some extent of Kathy Bates' character in Misery (1990), another story in which an obsessive fan manages to entrap a famous person. In addition, he is responsible for some of the film's most gripping scenes. One of which has Bruno schmooze his way into a party in order to distress Guy with his presence, culminating in a discussion about murder with two other guests. In demonstrating how strangulation can prevent oneself from screaming, Bruno is triggered by a guest who bares a striking resemblance to his victim earlier in the film. Moments later, he is seen genuinely strangling the woman as his gaze becomes withdrawn, bringing much attention to himself. This scene primarily highlights the opposing sides of Bruno's personality and turned a charming conversation into something very uncomfortable to watch, which I wasn't adverse to in the slightest.
|Fig 2 - Strangers on a Train - Guy and Bruno meet|
Overall, I thought Strangers on a Train was excellently performed and masterfully adapted. It has some genuine laughs backed up by moments of intensity and moves with a fluidity that I yearn for when settling into a film. For my money, it is one of the better Hitchcock productions to grace his filmography and still proves itself to be a classic nearly seventy years later.
Fig. 1 Strangers on a Train Poster (1951) From: Strangers on a Train - Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock
Fig. 2 Strangers on a Train Screenshot (1951) From: Strangers on a Train - Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock