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Strangers on a Train

Strangers on a Train(1951)

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Robert Walker was borrowed from M-G-M for the film. Farley Granger's opponent in the tennis match scene was played by tennis pro Jack Cushingham, who also served as the film's technical advisor. In the film, Hitchcock appeared in a cameo as a man boarding the train carrying a bass violin. According to a modern source, Hitchcock originally wanted William Holden to play the role of "Guy." Although an October 1950 Hollywood Reporter news item reported that James Millican tested for a role, he was not in the released film. A modern source adds Fred Reynolds to the cast, in the role of a tennis player.
       Warner Bros. production notes state that scenes were shot on location in New York, Washington, D.C. and Darien, CT, including Washington Station, Jefferson Memorial, the U.S. Capitol, Mellon Art Gallery, Arlington Bridge and Pennsylvania Station. According to a November 1950 Hollywood Reporter news items, the amusement park set was constructed at director Rowland V. Lee's Ranch, which was located in the San Fernando Valley, and the tennis scenes were filmed at South Gate, CA tennis courts. Information found in the file on the film in the Warner Bros. Archives at the USC Cinema-Television Library stated that background footage was shot in Toluca Lake and on Ventura Blvd. in Los Angeles, CA. Modern sources add that filming also took place at the railroad stop in Danbury, CT (standing in for Metcalf) and that the tunnel-of-love ride was found in a Canoga Park, CA fairground.
       Robert Burks was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Cinematography for his work on Strangers On a Train, but lost to William C. Mellor for A Place in the Sun. Strangers On a Train marked Robert Walker's last completed film and director Alfred Hitchcock's daughter Patricia's American film debut. The film marked noted author Raymond Chandler's last screenplay. According to a 1998 The Times (London) article, motion picture restorers at UCLA found a print of the film, marked "British version," which appears to have been planned for distribution in Great Britain. In the alternate version, the initial conversation on the train between "Guy" and "Bruno" is two minutes longer than the original and a final scene was added, in which Guy is again recognized by a stranger on a train. These scenes were included in a new release of the film that marked Warner Bros.' seventy-fifth anniversary. According to modern sources, the final shots of Walker's film My Son John were taken from the final shots of Strangers On a Train.
       Lux Radio Theatre aired two adaptations of the film. Ruth Roman and Patricia Hitchcock reprised their roles in a December 3, 1951 broadcast, which starred Ray Milland and Frank Lovejoy as Guy and Bruno, respectively. Hitchcock recreated her role in an adaptation that aired on Lux Radio Theatre on April 12, 1954. That version co-starred Robert Cummings, Dana Haines and Virginia Mayo. A 1969 remake, Once You Kiss a Stranger, was directed by Robert Sparr. In 1996, a television production based on Strangers On a Train aired, titled Once You Meet a Stranger, starring actresses Jacqueline Bisset and Teresa Russell in the Guy and Bruno roles. Strangers on a Train was the inspiration for the Orion Pictures' 1987 dark comedy Throw Momma From the Train, which was directed by Danny De Vito and starred De Vito and Billy Crystal. In 2002, Warner Bros. announced plans to produce another version of Strangers on a Train. In May 2005, Noam Murro was set to direct that version, with a screenplay to be written by David Seltzer.