Los Angeles Times - 11/18/1996
"...STRANGERS ON A TRAIN remains a timeless treat, a marvelous display of Hitchcock's absolute mastery of his medium and a deliciously dark comedy as well..."
Total Film - 10/01/2000
"...Walker is spine-chilling....With intense attention to detail and award-winning photography, this is Hitchcock at his best..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 12/21/2003
"[A] first-rate thriller with odd little kinks now and then. It proceeds, as Hitchcock's films so often do, with a sense of private scores being settled just out of sight."
Premiere - 07/01/2004
"STRANGERS is one of Hitch's best."
USA Today - 09/10/2004
"Alfred Hitchcock launched his richest period with this rousing adaptation..."
Description by OLDIES.com:
Strange thing about this trip. So much occurs in pairs. Tennis star Guy (Farley Granger) hates his unfaithful wife. Mysterious Bruno (Robert Walker) hates his father. How perfect for a playful proposal: I'll kill yours, you kill mine. Now look at how Alfred Hitchcock reinforces the duality of human nature. The more you watch, the more you'll see. "Isn't it a fascinating design?" the Master of Suspense often asked.
Actually, it's doubly fascinating. For Hitchcock left behind two versions of Strangers on a Train. The original version (side A) is an all-time thriller classic. A recently found longer prerelease British print (side B) offers "a startling amplification of Bruno's flamboyance, his homoerotic attraction to Guy and his psychotic personality" (Bill Desowitz, Film Comment). The laying bare of Bruno's hidden nature, along with the great set pieces (head-turning tennis match, disintegrating carousel) and suspense as only Hitchcock can deliver, makes for a first-class trip.
STRANGERS ON A TRAIN, based on the Patricia Highsmith novel, quickly became one of Alfred Hitchcock's most successful thrillers and remains one of his most popular films. En route from Washington, D.C., champion tennis player Guy Haines (Farley Granger) meets pushy playboy Bruno Anthony (Robert Walker). What begins as a chance encounter turns into a series of morbid confrontations, as Bruno manipulates his way into Guy's life. Bruno is eager to kill his father and knows Guy wants to marry a senator's daughter (Ruth Roman) but cannot get a divorce from his wife, Miriam (Laura Elliot). So Bruno suggests the men swap murders, which would leave no traceable clues or possible motives. Though Guy refuses, it will not be so easy to rid himself of the psychopathic Bruno. The film is tightly paced and disturbing from beginning to end, an effect heightened by Hitchcock's inventive camera work, including a terrifying sequence shot through a pair of eyeglasses that have been knocked to the ground.
This picture quickly became one of Alfred Hitchcock's most successful thrillers and remains one of his most popular films. Undoubtedly one of his finest films, STRANGERS ON A TRAIN transforms a highly improbable situation into a series of logical events that inexorably lead to murder. A psychopathic man plans what he thinks is an "exchange murder" with a stranger he meets on a train.