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Trivia / Strangers on a Train

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  • AFI's 100 Years… 100 Thrills: #32
  • Disowned Adaptation: Zigzagged. Patricia Highsmith's opinion of the film varied over time. She initially praised it, writing: "I am pleased in general. Especially with Bruno, who held the movie together as he did the book." Later in life, while still praising Robert Walker's performance as Bruno, she criticized the casting of Ruth Roman as Anne, Alfred Hitchcock's decision to turn Guy from an architect into a tennis player, and the fact that Guy does not murder Bruno's father as he does in the novel.
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  • Creative Differences: The relationship between Raymond Chandler and Alfred Hitchcock was not a happy one. The main bone of contention between the two men was that Chandler's writing paid more attention to character motivation while Hitchcock was more interested in the visual development and formal structure of the movie laid out in the treatment. In a letter to a studio executive, Chandler said he preferred to work with a director "who realizes that what is said and how it is said is more important than shooting it upside down through a glass of champagne." The two men also had different meeting styles. 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 was also a hard drinker and a difficult person to get along with under the best of circumstances. Interpersonal relations deteriorated rapidly until finally Chandler became openly combative. When Hitchcock arrived at Chandler's home for a story meeting, Chandler hollered from his window, "Look at the fat bastard trying to get out of his car!" When his secretary warned that Hitchcock might be able to hear him, Chandler said he didn't care.
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  • Enforced Method Acting: The stunt where the man crawled under the carousel was not done with trick photography. Alfred Hitchcock claimed that this was the most dangerous stunt ever performed under his direction, and would never allow it to be done again.
  • Executive Meddling:
    • Alfred Hitchcock wanted to end the film with Guy saying "Bruno, Bruno Anthony - a clever fellow." But the studio forced him to shoot a happy ending.
    • Warner Bros. insisted on casting their contract player Ruth Roman as Anne, over Hitchcock's objections, which led to Hostility on the Set between Hitchcock and Roman.
  • Real-Life Relative: Alfred Hitchcock's daughter Patricia played Barbara Morton.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The role of Guy Haines was originally meant for William Holden, who was unavailable.
    • Alfred Hitchcock tried to hire Ben Hecht to write the script, but learned he was unavailable. Hecht suggested his assistant, Czenzi Ormonde.
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