Strangers on a Train (1951) - Rotten Tomatoes

Strangers on a Train1951

Strangers on a Train (1951)



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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Farley Granger
as Guy Haines
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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Critic Reviews for Strangers on a Train

All Critics (52) | Top Critics (12)

The upshot is a perfect Alfred Hitchcock thriller...with a ingenious plot taken from a Patricia Highsmith novel and a memorably seductive villain.

November 2, 2018 | Full Review…

Strangers on a Train is an admirable demonstration of Alfred Hitchcock's virtuosity in the area of suspense dramas.

June 30, 2017 | Full Review…

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.

August 30, 2009 | Full Review…
Top Critic

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

February 4, 2008

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.

February 9, 2006 | Full Review…
Top Critic

To ignore the subtext during the runaway carousel climax is to be absolutely blind.

September 6, 2004 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

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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