DVD - Image A Sound A Extras B
BD - Image A- Sound A Extras B
starring Farley Granger, Ruth Roman, Robert Walker, Leo G. Carroll
screenplay by Raymond Chandler and Czenzi Ormonde, based on the novel by Patricia Highsmith
directed by Alfred Hitchcock
by Walter Chaw SPOILER WARNING IN EFFECT. Alfred Hitchcock's queerest film (Rope notwithstanding) and proof positive of the director's knack for casting men of ambiguous sexual mooring in roles that cannily exploit it, Strangers on a Train, shot in vibrant contrasts by the great Robert Burks, is best read as a dark comedy--a noir in the most perverse sense of the term. Find in it the finest performance by troubled Robert Walker, tormented to his grave by David O. Selznick's infatuation with and eventual theft of wife Jennifer Jones and committed, not long after Strangers on a Train finished shooting, to a mental institution, where he was the victim of an accidentally-lethal dose of sedative. Playing a character named after the kidnapper and murderer of the Lindbergh baby, Walker is Bruno, a spatted dandy who bumps shoes with hero Guy (Farley Granger--the "girl" in the Rope dyad) on a train and ostensibly hatches a plan with the pliant tennis star to "criss-cross" murders (trade assassinations, as it were), freeing each of them from the burden of blood motive. Bruno wants his father dead; Guy, involved in a very public affair with the senator's daughter Anne (Ruth Roman) but shackled to loathsome Miriam (Kasey Rogers), would benefit from Miriam's timely demise. So when Miriam turns up dead by Bruno's hand, Guy is trapped by circumstance into either murdering Bruno's dad or going to the police and implicating himself and his lover in a conspiracy.