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Strangers on a Train
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Strangers on a Train

Strangers on a Train was a film released in 1951 by Warner Bros The film was directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The film starred Farley Granger, Ruth Roman, Robert Walker, Leo G. Carroll and Patricia Hitchcock. The movie was based on Patricia Highsmith's novel. Detective novelist Raymond Chandler wrote an early draft of the screenplay.

Table of contents
1 The story
2 The motif of the double
3 Alternate versions
4 Parodies
5 See also

The story

Tennis star Guy Haines (Granger) wants to divorce his unfaithful wife in order to marry the woman he loves, Anne Morton (Roman). Haines meets the unstable Bruno Anthony (Walker) on a train and Bruno tells Guy about his idea to switch murders: Bruno would kill Guy's wife if Guy kills Bruno's father. Guy doesn't take Bruno seriously, but Bruno kills Guy's wife and then demands that Guy to honor his part of the bargain.

The motif of the double

Farley Granger [left] and Robert Walker in Strangers on a Train
Like Shadow of a Doubt, Strangers on a Train is one of many Hitchcock films to explore the doppelgänger theme. The film employs a number of puns and visual metaphors to suggest the motif of double-crossing and crossing one's double.

A few examples:

"Isn't it a fascinating design?" Hitchcock is reputed to have said; "You could study it forever."

Alternate versions

The original American version of Strangers on a Train differed from the original British version. The American version was re-edited in order to underplay suggestions of Bruno's homosexual attraction to Guy. Both versions are currently available on DVD.


Hitchcock's film was the basis for the comedy Throw Momma from the Train (1987), starring Billy Crystal and Danny DeVito.

See also

The Talented Mr. Ripley