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Strangers on a Train

USA 1951
produced by
Warner Brothers
directed by Alfred Hitchcock
starring Farley Granger, Ruth Roman, Robert Walker, Leo G.Carroll, Patricia Hitchcock, Kasey Rogers, Marion Lorne, Jonathan Hale, Howard St.John, John Brown, Norma Varden, Robert Gist
based on the novel by Patricia Highsmith, adaptation by Whitfield Cook, screenplay by Raymond Chandler, Czenzi Ormonde, music by Dimitri Tiomkin

review by
Dale Pierce

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The late Alfred Hitchcock might not have been a horror film director in the truest sense of the word, but he was certainly one of the greatest masters of suspense  in the history of film. In this vehicle, he proved himself once more, leaving behind a great film that is still considered a classic decades after his death.

A tennis pro (Farley Granger) meets a psychopath (Robert Walker) on a train where they jokingly agree to exchange murders, the idea being strangers with no connetcion to each other could swap victims or kill each other's desired targets without any connection being made. The only problem is Bruno, played to the hilt by Walker, takes the bargain seriously. He does murder for the tennis pro and ends up leaving him as a suspect in the case, which is only the beginning of the story. Things get even more complex when the disgruntled Bruno finds out his new associate is not only horrified about what has happened, but will not live up to his end of the bargain and kill his mother for him.

One of the most subtle psychos in screen villainry, Bruno's great  cinema moment comes as, while walking at a carnival, he casually pops a child's ballon out of meanness with his cigarette. This scene has been reshown in numerous documentaries on Hitchcock and horror films, only outdone perhaps by scenes from Psycho as far as repetition is concerned. It is a definitive hitchcockian moment, just like the shadowy Mother emerging beyond the shower curtain.

As with Shadow Of A DoubtNorth By Northwest and  other movies where his villains are to die, Hitchcock gives Bruno a dynamic sendoff, on a merry-go-round of all things.

A classic psychotic thriller in every sense of the word.


review © by Dale Pierce


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD