Strangers on a Train

During this weekend package of Alfred Hitchcock double-features, you can see today’s Dial M for Murder on either side of the superior 1951 Strangers on a Train (at 5 p.m.), which you don’t want to miss. Tennis player Farley Granger and rich creep Robert Walker meet at random and agree, sort of, to exchange (“criss-cross”) murders in this bowstring-taut adaptation of the Patricia Highsmith novel. Walker’s an out-and-out psycho, but a seductive psycho, as the soft jock Granger discovers. The gay subtext just about subsumes the murder story as one man insinuates himself into the life and conscience of another. As is generally the case with Hitchcock, the sexual and the criminal are bound together with guilt—so you can almost imagine them as lovers before prissy Granger, in a panic, tries to end their sordid affair. (Saturday’s pairing is the great Rear Window and Vertigo; Monday brings The 39 Steps, presently a play at Seattle Rep, and Shadow of a Doubt.) (NR) BRIAN MILLER

Oct. 10-12, 2009

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