#10 Strangers On A Train

July 22, 2016

The Top 10 opens with a crime thriller that is sure to make you cautious of strangers anytime you’re traveling by train, plane, or automobile. Of course in this case the story begins on a locomotive, in which a tennis player with marital problems conversates with a momma’s boy with daddy issues, and what ensues is a frenetic turn of events involving murder, motive, and a complete misunderstanding. Farley Granger plays the innocent man in love with a woman who isn’t his promiscuous wife, which opens the doors for a maniacal Robert Walker to take advantage of his vulnerability. Therefore it’s probably more psychosis than it is true misinterpretation that leads Walker to strangle Granger’s wife at an amusement park, yet all the same an underlying theme of being careful what you wish for supplements the general theme of blackmail and extortion. The plot moves quickly and although it may come off to some as improbable, the performances are nothing less than spectacular as each character is casted perfectly, including the ostracized yet beautiful Ruth Roman who wasn’t exactly Hitchcock’s favorite. Memorable scenes include Walker strangling Patricia Hitchcock (his only child) at a dinner party along with the film’s climax at the carousel, the latter being incredibly unrealistic yet undeniably entertaining. What is also indisputable is that Walker is one of the most menacing villains to ever touch a Hitchcock screen, perhaps second only to the man who runs the Bates Motel.

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