Strangers on a Train

Movie review by
Scott G. Mignola, Common Sense Media
Strangers on a Train Movie Poster Image
Popular with kids
Classic nail-biter is a must for thriller fans.
  • PG
  • 1951
  • 103 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 10 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Pemeditated murder, stalking.

Violence

Graphic murder, and a slug-fest on a high-speed carousel. Stalking.

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is solid nail-biting entertainment for those who enjoy stylish, well-crafted suspense. Don't expect a moral here, but do expect a lot of suspense and some dark subject matter that makes it inappropriate for young viewers who should probably stick to Scooby-Doo. The British version devotes slightly more screen time to Bruno's Liberace-like flamboyance, giving that fateful meeting with Guy on the train a vague air of flirtation. Parents concerned about homoerotic content need not be; it's presented discreetly, merely as a character trait.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bybigmoviefan2020 November 26, 2020
Parent Written byPlague June 9, 2010

Strangers on a Train

A fantastic thriller, and a Hitchcock classic.
Teen, 13 years old Written byLukeCon September 23, 2020

Hitchcock’s well-crafted representation of film-noir

Hitchcock does film-noir in Strangers on a Train. This work of his is effective in reflecting the film-noir genre using different concepts in doing so. By using... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old August 30, 2019

Best Suspenseful Hitchcock Film

Strangers on a train is my favourite Hitchcock film. Such a clever story and I would really recommend it.
Sexy stuff- Just a little bit of kissing and discussio... Continue reading

What's the story?

From the novel by Patricia Highsmith, Alfred Hitchcock's STRANGERS ON A TRAIN takes a seemingly innocent conversation between tennis player Guy (Farley Granger) and well-heeled Bruno (Robert Walker) and turns it, by degrees, into a grueling worst-case scenario. A chance meeting on a train embroils the two men in a shrewd murder scheme that quickly goes awry. Co-scripted by Raymond Chandler, this stylish, suspenseful 1951 Hitchcock classic will have the whole family squirming and second-guessing each other about the outcome as an innocent man is drawn into a lunatic's murder scheme. The master of suspense gives us a dead body, but doesn't leave us asking who, where, when or why. We witnessed the crime. We understand the murderer's motive. If this were a straightforward murder mystery, the end credits would be rolling, but because it's an Alfred Hitchcock picture it's just beginning. So buckle up, because the tension builds relentlessly all the way to the climax.

Is it any good?

In the hands of a less-competent director, the story might not have amounted to much, but Hitchcock builds the suspense relentlessly, almost sickeningly. That's why they call him the master.

This adaptation devotes slightly more screen time to Bruno's Liberace-like flamboyance, giving that fateful meeting with Guy on the train a vague air of flirtation. Parents concerned about homoerotic content need not be; it's presented discreetly, merely as a character trait. There's no great moral to be found here ("Crime doesn't pay" is stretching it a little). This is just solid nail-nibbling entertainment for those who enjoy stylish, well-crafted suspense.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the hallmarks of a suspense film, and how continued suspense, especially when the tension and danger continues to increase, is often more thrilling, entertaining, and downright scary than films filled with constant, gratuitous violence.

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love thrills

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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