"I certainly admire people who do things"
Hitchcock certainly had his own way to make films. Supposedly, after having had studios monkey around too much with his final product, he started shooting his films so they'd not be able to be cut in any other way. Not only did Hitch get to have his way about the editing process, but the extra attention to detail ads to the film, propelling it more insistently forward.
Strangers on a Train is a dark psychological drama, well shot in black and white, with crisp performances all around. Even Aunt Clara from Bewitched (Marion Lorne) shows a bit of depth in a small part. I'll skip the plot details, as either you know them, or you'll appreciate better from having seen them. Just let me say that the descent of the characters is a fascinating study of linked fates.
It's really hard to go wrong with Hitchcock. Of course it's good, but just how good is it? Our two main characters - the strangers - are both complex, and we can see their struggles, but in very different ways. Robert Walker does an amazing job portraying the unstable nature of Bruno Antony in both expressive and subtle ways. It's hard to keep your eyes off him when he's on screen. The stakes are high, in both a personal and moral sense, to both these characters. That's why it works, and without that high-minded conflict, the film would languish quite pitifully.
Another great last line here, though not quite in the vein of the perfect summary of the entire movie: "He said he looks silly in his tennis clothes."
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