“Strangers on a Train” – The One For Each And Every Hitchcock Admirer

Warning – The Following Story is Merely Fan Fiction!!!

A still frame from the film “Strangers On A Train” by Alfred Hitchcock

The year is 1951. It appears you are a famous tennis player in the States. So famous, indeed, that you can’t even powder your nose in the comfort room without someone standing by it, squealing out ai Betty-oh-my-god-it’s-him. You, my friend, have got to be who actually matters. Naturally, just now as you’re traveling by train, a complete stranger puts you in the very well-deserved spotlight. Humbled by your presence, he sits next to you as he savors your very personhood, telling you to your face just how much he admires people like you, people who actually go out and do stuff. Why, he must live to stan for you.
That schoolboy tie pin of his spells out his name, though. Bruno.
And his momma made it for him.
Oh, look, there’s even a stain on his shirt already.
It has got to be his mother’s spaghetti.

What a chatty fella, this Bruno, though… Ok, how do I get rid of this guy? Do I say something like ‘I’m taking another train?’ Is he… is he flirting with me? What did he just say? How does he know that I’m dating the senator’s daughter? What the…? How does he know that I am also married at the same time and want to divorce the cheating double-crosser (unlike me, who is allowed to cheat)? Oh, no, I am soo walking away this instant!!! Oh, yes I am, before you get to say Jack Golddiggerson.

… Well, I mean, since he sincerely apologized it would be rude of me to leave… What? No, I don’t want to have lunch with you, do you have any idea who I am?! I wouldn’t be caught dead…

Oh, God, I am stuck with this person!

… How creepy is this Bruno fella? And wahaay too cocky, it’s god uncomfortable for me… How can anyone be this full of themselves? Yes, my wife is unfaithful, but it is horribly rude to say it to my face. I have feelings, you know! Ha-ha, yeah, honestly, I would have a blast if someone were to a-hem get rid of her for me, but of course, I would never in a million years admit it to your face. What are you saying? Why, you must be out of your mind. Wait, this guy is serious! I would never kill anyone for you, you brrgh… psycho! Why, this man is crazy, there’s no question about it. I am no murderer, mister! I’d better let him know I refuse to participate in anything of the sort, get up and leave looking as offended as I can pretend to be. That will show him… I mean, me – the door! I am out of here this instant! That will make him look so ridiculous now.

… Wait… I left my lighter on the train… The lighter with mine and my girlfriend’s initials right next to the tennis symbol. Oh, the solid piece of planted evidence that would be if something were to happen. What on earth could ever beat that lighter in court!? Did… did I leave it in there on purpose? Do I actually WANT this to happen, deep inside…? Is man inherently evil??? Is Bruno, after all and to the bone… Heeey, isn’t that Mr. Hitchcock, this movie’s director getting on the train I just got off? I could have gone for some gazillion of FOMO-inducing trending material, I mean why not, I might have finally gotten more followers than that Carry Grant… That would have shown everyone who makes for a better lead!

And that, folks, is but the beginning of your “Strangers on a Train” Saturday cinema treat.
– But, but, what happens next? (suspense)

This is how it feels being Guy Haynes, the lead character of “Strangers on a Train”, yet another Hitchcock entertainment this week, one that delivers what it has promised.

– Why, expand on it, you ask. – Well, we have a few points at your disposal, among which:

It makes you dwell on the duality of a persona What Guy was going to realize before, had he not been interrupted by his ego, was that perhaps Bruno is our mere Id of animalistic desires, mercilessly eager to take the obstacles out of our way – despite all those reasonable superego mantras we try to internalize, i.e. how we’ve been taught that killing is bad.
It’s the price we pay for even daring to be happy, and unlike taxation, it’s the price we pay to live in a civilized society.

But do not expect any analysis of high philosophy beyond what Mr. Hitchcock is known to offer. After all, it is his job to entertain, and not to have a point.
Leave the latter to the Jordan Peeles of cinema.

The camera – such as that one frame in particular where the murder takes place in the reflection of a broken pair of glasses. Or such as that one symbolic frame of Guy and Bruno put behind bars while facing a police vehicle, only “the bars” being the neighbors’ fence across the street.

The acting – after the curtain comes down, you will find yourself wiping off some sweatdrops over who makes for a better villain:

a) Robert Walker (Bruno Anthony) in “Strangers on a Train”

or

b) Anthony Perkins (Norman Bates) in “Psycho”.

So, to conclude, is this the best of Hitchcock? – No, that would be “The Birds”. But why be so naive and take our word it?

Johnny Boogieman

About Johnny Boogieman (né Johnathan Boogiemanovich Goode) is an American comedy reviewer and a self-proclaimed cinema connoisseur, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist. … Johnny grew up on a farm in Louisiana, as the only child of a Louisiana-based field worker, dressmaker, dog hairstylist, dog collar jewelry designer, dog walker for the elderly (dogs and owners), disabled and elderly dog walking aids creator-in-attempt, and homemaker, Dutch single mother. As large a clientele as dogs were for the barely-gasping-for-air family business, they were the proud owners of a single tabby cat alone, a streetwise and self-dependent hunter known by either of the street names Stringer Bell and El Capo (sometimes referred to as El Cato). … Having been amazed by the crazy wild early readings of Jules Verne, Johnny’s school days were spent dreaming he’d someday make for a good storyteller. Hence, as early as fourth grade, eager to prove himself to the world, he went for it and constructed a well-balanced heartbeat-skipping thrilling essay, pointing out to some well-reasoned critique of society and solid character arcs, committing to his talents to the fullest and diving right into that pool of majestic phrasing and complexity of thought, confident he’d soon get bejeweled with a spotless A and a pretty clap by the teacher, with gradually having the whole class join in looking up to him as he emerges from his seat to receive his essay evaluation. When results day came, though, little Johnny not only got a D, but he was mocked by the teacher and class for the gullible overexposure of his fragile overambitious mutating childish writing skills of questionable taste and poor poor quality. It was the “you’re tearing me apart, Lisa” equivalent of a child’s essay. He was rather massacred. He never got that brave ever again. … Anyway, Johnny mainly spent his summers field-working on a sunflower field with his uncle Berry under the widespread wings of the storks and the chesty white doves and clever black crows who all flew right under the neighbor’s umbrella caps patio ceiling installation thingy as soon as the first raindrop was godshed over the one-eyed monsters battalion that the sunflower sea was to Johnny. It drove the unwilling bird host nuts, and he’d storm right out yelling and cursing at the birds, “we’re going, we’re going” they went, and flew a semi-circle over the umbrella caps as to fool him and came right back the other way around pretending to be some fresh arrivals of clueless law-abiding American birds not yet acquainted with the police system of the patio. The guy wouldn’t take it out as it took ages to plant and he and his wife thought it made them look like fancy DIY people who had some ideas worthy of admiration. Oh, the bird manure, though, oh the bird manure. “Work your time, boy” – staring Johnny’s uncle frowned, his eye twinkled. … Cinema was to Johnny what he made plans for, what he made time for, what he looked up to all his life, and as he became a young adult, what he fancied himself to have a special talent to understand. It was the sort of a sixth sense, an intuition, a gut sense. He was the squad movie buff and a film whisperer. “No”, it whispered, “Fight Club ain’t no bueno. Mark my words and don’t ask why ‘cos you ain’t schooled enough to know why, boy.” He tried, though, he debated and disputed over a glass of scotch-on-the-rocks and under the jibe of a saxophone jazz, but it was as fruitless and dull as the poetry he wrote - unclean, uneven, and too abstract - as if he hadn’t found a voice to speak in yet. He did his part for years to come, reading as all writers ought to, writing and not publishing until he found out what he had to say with the peculiar piece of work. As for cinema, it happened one evening as he discussed legs-up-a-recliner their plans for the future with his lover-cum-best friend in their rented one-bedroom living space in New Jersey, that his lover casually contributed: “And then I thought we could start a film blog and you could do the content writing” – words that sunflower field Johnny with his gangster cat and his dewy eyes staring at the rainy-day con birds thought he’d never hear.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *