Monday, May 6, 2013

Strangers on a Train

A tennis player (Farley Granger) trapped in a loveless marriage meets a sociopath (Robert Walker) with mommie issues and a domineering father on a locomotive. When the latter suggests they perform each other's murder ("criss cross"), the tennis pro brushes it off as humorous conjecture and doesn't realize what kind of jackpot he's in until he finds his estranged wife strangled to death. "Strangers on a Train" is a taut and brilliant adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's novel, whose screenplay was penned by Raymond Chandler and an uncredited Ben Hecht among others, which draws tension from seemingly routine situations (a tennis match or a carousel for example) and features a wickedly funny performance from Walker.