Farley Granger

STRANGERS ON A TRAIN (1951)

Strangers on a Train

I’m currently re-reading Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train, so I figured I’d repost my review of Hitchcock’s adaptation, which originally appeared on Collider last year…

Everyone, at some point in their lives, secretly wishes death on another person. We all do it. Homicidal thoughts are as natural as breathing. Hopefully you’ve never acted on yours, but if you are reading this from a prison cell, congratulations on being assertive. The notion that we all want someone dead is what drives smarmy psychopath Bruno Anthony (Robert Walker) into asking tennis star Guy Haines (Farley Granger) for a good ol’ round of murder in Hitchcock‘s Strangers on a Train.

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THEY LIVE BY NIGHT (1949)

They Live by Night

“This boy and this girl were never properly introduced to the world we live in…” – opening credits

Nicholas Ray lived through the Depression, which isn’t the reason he wore an eye-patch later in life, but it was the reason he was asked to adapt the novel Thieves Like Us by Edward Anderson. Ray found the project to be a very personal one and although RKO producer John Houseman had minor issues with his script, the final result is pretty much what Ray was aiming for. They Live by Night is a blazing debut, nurtured by Houseman, who allowed Ray the creative freedom to experiment. There’s a fairy tale feel to the film that subverts the social realism, as the star-crossed lovers attempt to find happiness in an insensitive world populated with ogres with names like Chicamaw and T-Dub.

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