Starring: Farley Granger, Robert Walker, Ruth Roman
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Running Time: 101 mins
Strangers On A Train is an American film about a star tennis player who is reluctantly drawn into an insane murder plan after meeting a crazed man in a chance encounter on a train.
This may not be one of Hitchcock’s more suspenseful thrillers, but it sure is creepy and intriguing enough to give a good bit of excitement. With excellent performances, and typically genius directing, this is definitely a fascinating and entertaining story.
Let’s start with the story. The entire plot revolves around the relationship between this tennis player and a strange man he met on a train, and how the deluded intentions of that man turn the tennis player’s life upside down.
Despite initially seeming like a harmless encounter, the story becomes really exciting when you realise that this man is completely psychotic, and although the tennis player tries his best to think nothing of him or politely get rid of him, everything becomes too much, and as a result, the two end up having a very tense relationship that drives the excitement of the story.
Again, this isn’t a particularly intensely suspenseful film, due to relative slow pacing that was more common in Hitchcock films before Rear Window, but it still moves along at a decent pace, keeping you engaged, whilst the climax is properly exciting, with a high-stakes, rapid-fire finale that will definitely have you on the edge of your seat.
Away from the plot, the performances here are very strong too. Farley Granger, who plays the tennis player, is a very supportable protagonist who puts across his character’s constant sense of unease very well, whilst Robert Walker, who plays the crazed man, is brilliantly creepy and unsettling throughout.
Finally, as is to be expected from Alfred Hitchcock, this film is masterfully directed. Throughout his career, he pioneered amazing camera techniques to create drama and excitement, and uses them to excellent effect here, in order to make both a tense and dramatic as well as nail-bitingly exciting story.
Overall, this gets a 7.7, because it really is a very exciting plot that will keep you engaged throughout, and whilst it’s not as intensely thrilling as some of Hitchcock’s best, it’s still definitely worth a watch.