Wednesday, January 25, 2012

STRANGERS ON A TRAIN (1951)

Up-and-coming tennis player, Guy, has been courting the daughter of a senator. His future looks to be very promising...except for the fact that he's still married to the town slut from his hometown. While on a train trip back home to discuss his divorce with his estranged wife Guy bumps into a man, Bruno, and they strike up an uneasy conversation. Eventually the subject turns to "the perfect murder" and while Guy thinks Bruno is just joking, Bruno is actually deadly serious...not to mention highly disturbed. Bruno claims the perfect murder would be for Bruno to murder Guy's wife and for Guy to murder Bruno's father, explaining that since neither of them know their victim the police would never be able to solve the murders.

The train arrives and Guy forgets the whole silly conversation when his wife, sensing a cash cow, backs out on the promised divorce. They get in a heated argument in front of her co-workers. Later on she's at a carnival when Bruno shows up and strangles her to death. Bruno then contacts a horrified Guy and tells him that now it's Guy's turn kill his father.

If I had to rank Hitchcock movies I would place SOAT somewhere in the Top 20. It's an entertaining viewing with some interesting shots and a nice amount of dark humor. On the other hand it's not re-watchable (like PSYCHO or VERTIGO) and the character of Guy is a total idiot. All of his problems would have disappeared if he had just manned up from the beginning, but instead he spent the majority of the movie whimpering like spineless pussy. Worth a rent and that's it.
Hitch cameo.