Movies »Strangers on a Train

For a long time I kind of felt less than inclined to actually watch Strangers on a Train, having been so clued in on the plot from the many films that are inspired by and reference it, but there's real joy to be had, even if you know what's going to happen, in watching a Hitchcock film that's so perfectly on; there are some ingenious visual sequences here that prove again (as if it were ever disputed) that he can be an amazing master of film making with clever simplicity.

Aside from the iconic directing, the dandyish performance by Robert Walker as crazy Bruno is spectacular. In a favorite scene, he claims to be late for an appointment fully dressed in slippers and a robe, and saunters off with a smirk upstairs. There are few villains more fun to watch on screen while still maintaining a genuine feel of insanity and danger under behind their pearly whites.

Bruno's foil, the male lead (played by Farley Granger), is perfectly fine as a dumb tennis player with a reasonably pretty and politically connected new girlfriend. But again, it's the villainy role that's the juiciest: the slutty, mean-spirited and, critically, bespectacled Kasey Rogers (billed as Laura Elliott) is great as a woman that you can actually imagine yourself wanting to kill.

The film is based on a novel by Patricia Highsmith, whose work is always prime for great adaptations (see the Talented Mr Ripley), though there is one major difference in the book's plot?

Here's the trailer

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Posted on August 17, 2009

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