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Date: 28.09.2017

Strangers on a Train : A Hitchcock Classic (2004)

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As usual, Hitchcock kept his name out of the negotiations to keep the purchase price low. Hitchcock enjoyed long, rambling off-topic meetings where often the film would not even be mentioned for hours, while Chandler was strictly business and wanted to get out and get writing.

He called the meetings "god-awful jabber sessions which seem to be an inevitable although painful part of the picture business. Chandler completed a first draft, then wrote a second, without hearing a single word back from Hitchcock; when finally he did get a communication from the director in late September, it was his dismissal from the project.

Hecht suggested his assistant, Czenzi Ormonde, to write the screenplay. With his new writer, he wanted to start from square one: The director told Ormonde to forget all about the book, then told her the story of the film himself, from beginning to end. The rest was complete by early November.

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He found exactly what he needed right on the Warners lot in the person of staff cameraman Robert Burks , who would continue to work with Hitchcock, shooting every Hitchcock picture through to Marnie , with the exception of Psycho. Hitchcock insists on perfection. He has no patience with mediocrity on the set or at a dinner table. There can be no compromise in his work, his food or his wines. While there, the crew had done some other location scouting.

Hitchcock and his cast and crew decamped for the East Coast on October 17, Hitchcock had written exacting specifications for an amusement park, which was constructed on the ranch of director Rowland Lee in Chatsworth, California. Strangers on a Train marked something of a renaissance for Hitchcock, after several years of low enthusiasm for his lates output, [26] and he threw himself into the micromanagement of some of its production.

He also showed intense interest in a seldom-considered detail of character delineation: Bruno orders with gusto and with an interest in what he is going to eat — lamb chops, French fries, and chocolate ice cream. A very good choice for train food. And the chocolate ice cream is probably what he thought about first.

Bruno is rather a child. He is also something of a hedonist. Guy, on the other hand, shows little interest in eating the lunch, apparently having given it no advance thought, in contrast to Bruno, and he merely orders what seems his routine choice, a hamburger and coffee.

The unusual angle was a more complex proposition than it seems. First Hitchcock got the exterior shots in Canoga Park, using both actors, then later he had Elliott alone report to a soundstage where there was a large concave reflector set on the floor. The camera was on one side of the reflector, Elliott was on the other, and Hitchcock directed Elliott to turn her back to the reflector and "float backwards, all the way to the floor The astheticizing of the horror somehow enables the audience to contemplate more fully its reality.

This piece of film he then enlarged and projected onto a vast screen, positioning actors around and in front of it so that the effect is one of a mob of bystanders into which plaster horses and passengers are hurled in deadly chaos. Although Hitchcock admitted to undercranking the shot artificially accelerating the action , [34] it was not a trick shot: Hitchcock wanted the phone in the foreground to dominate the shot, emphasizing the importance of the call, but the limited depth-of-field of contemporary motion picture lenses made it difficult to get both phone and women in focus.

So Hitchcock had an oversized phone constructed and placed in the foreground. Then a grip put a normal-sized phone on the table, where she picked it up. Moritz, for a 25th anniversary European excursion. In a conventional movie, the tune would play in the background as a clever ironic backdrop.

But Hitchcock takes music to another level. Grinning balefully on the horse behind them, Bruno then sings it himself, making it his motto. Hitchcock, promotionally photographed many times over the years strangling various actresses and other women — some one-handed, others two — found himself in front of a camera with his fingers around the neck of a bust of daughter Patricia; [27] the photo found its way into newspapers nationwide.

Alfred Hitchcock - Wikipedia

The press release embellished the tale, claiming he left her "dangling in total darkness for an hour," [36] only then allowing his "trembling daughter" to be lowered and released. The only sadistic part was I never got the hundred dollars. Strangers on a Train was a success, and Hitchcock was pronounced at the top of his form as master of the dark, melodramatic suspense thriller. One could study it forever.

Strangers on a Train (1951) - Rotten Tomatoes

The pair has what writer Peter Dellolio refers to as a "dark symbiosis. Once on the train, Bruno orders a pair of double drinks — "The only kind of doubles I play", he says charmingly.

There are two respectable and influential fathers, two women with eyeglasses, and two women at a party who delight in thinking up ways of committing the perfect crime. There are two sets of two detectives in two cities, two little boys at the two trips to the fairground, two old men at the carousel, two boyfriends accompanying the woman about to be murdered, and two Hitchcocks in the film. The two sets of feet in the title sequence match each other in motion and in cutting, but they immediately establish the contrast between the two men: At first glance, Guy represents the ordered life where people stick to rules, while Bruno comes from the world of chaos, [50] where they get thrown out of multiple colleges for drinking and gambling.

To the man committed to a career in politics, Bruno represents a tempting overthrow of all responsibility. Some people are better off dead. Guy, then, in a sense connives at the murder of his wife, and the enigmatic link between him and Bruno becomes clear. Capitol, the life to which Guy aspires, the world of light and order. These events were the background to their work, while Hitchcock, Cook, Ormonde and Keon were preparing the script for Strangers, and film scholar Robert L.

Carrington has written of a political subtext to the film.

He narrowed the geographic scope to the Northeast corridor , between Washington, D. Variety praised it, writing: Granger is excellent as the harassed young man innocently involved in murder. Hitchcock again is tossing a crazy murder story in the air and trying to con us into thinking that it will stand up without support. But, for all that, his basic premise of fear fired by menace is so thin and so utterly unconvincing that the story just does not stand.

Even classic endeavors like Fargo and A Simple Plan seem directly fueled by this concept Ordinary Washington locations become sinister hunting grounds that mirror perfectly the creeping terror that slowly consumes Guy, as the lethally smooth Bruno relentlessly pursues him to a frenzied climax.

She initially praised it, writing: Especially with Bruno, who held the movie together as he did the book.