Alfred Hitchcock's Film Strangers On A Train

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Strangers on a Train is a film by Alfred Hitchcock which takes from his previous works and culminates them into his most suspenseful film yet. This essay will be analyzing that tennis match sequence which is packed with visual ques commenting on the narrative, hazing the line between protagonist and antagonist, and mix all of this up to create one of the most suspenseful scenes in the film. The first shot in the sequence is when Guy has just finished a set against his opposition and takes a sip of water. Guy looks up the official time. This scene has an emphasis on time. Guy is concerned and held up by his tennis match, while Bruno has to reach for the lighter in the grate. The two characters who seem to be very methodical in their normal …show more content…
In the sequence when we first see Bruno is just getting off of a train where he looks both ways. Making sure to lookout for any other encounters with fate that could possibly happen. Bruno at this part of the film is trying to frame Guy by leaving Guy’s lighter at the scene of the murder. Bruno walks from the train going right to left which is an intentional motion in film that denotes antagonistic actions. Bruno at this point in the movie is considered by a majority of audience the antagonist while Guy is the protagonist. The next shot is Bruno still walking from right to left, but he stops at the crossroads on the track he’s about to pass. Bruno is at the intersection where the cross road says “Stop Look and Listen.” This is exactly what he does by stopping looking at his watch and listening to the crossroad alarm. Bruno pulls out Guy’s lighter and is bumped into by a walking stranger. The lighter hits a storm drain and falls in. The sign was foreshadowing to the audience and a sign to Bruno. It is something that can be easily missed, but Hitchcock was sure to put it in. Bruno looks down in horror as fate is obstructing his path to sabotage Guy. The announcer immediately after this shot announces that “The set score is now 2 to 1 Guy Haines leading… this match from a quick victory for Haines has turned into a dogfight.” …show more content…
He almost gets it, but then drops it to what seems like its doom. Literally it seems like it dropped maybe two feet or so. How is Bruno going to get that? The lighting in this scene has the usual hitchcockian shadowing that is reminiscent to film noir. The lighter lands in the light giving the audience more hope that Bruno has a chance of actually retrieving it. In the next shot the point of view is switched to first person. The camera turns into Guy’s opposition serving the tennis ball back and forth. Giving the audience another push to root for Bruno. The shots are giving subliminal perspective that they are supposed to be against Guy. This also adds to the suspense with all of the adds stacking against Guy considering the camera is giving an illusion that even the audience is against him. The announcer screams “Just one point between Haines and the match!” and the camera pans rapidly between Guy and his opposition. We get an update on Bruno and his ever elastic arm still reaching for the lighter. Quick cuts are made with every thunderous thud produced by the rackets. This is one of the peaks of suspense in the film only to be rivaled with the carousel and murder scenes. We come to the conclusion of Bruno, or his superhero pseudonym Mr. Fantastic, finally finagling the lighter with his two fingers and bringing it up to the surface. The camera also rises to the surface to show that the crowd has

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