The story is so good you forget its in black and white
Hitchcock at his best with more suggested than shown and some great set pieces. Walker is memorable in his part and what about his mum?! The recently discovered (apparently) UK version should have been on side B and I'm still waiting to see this one.
A cracking Hitchcock thriller made all the better from an underlying current of creepiness. Two apparent strangers meet on a train and one suggests that they “swap murders” committing killings on each other’s behalf so that they both have watertight alibis for the deaths of the people they have a connection to, and a motive for killing. As is par for the course for Hitchcock the movie is full of innovative visuals. The one that stands out for me is of the crowd at a tennis match, where all the heads are moving from left to right watching the ball, expect for one, the villain watching the lead. Watch out for Hitch’s trademark cameo early on in the movie.
Disturbing characterisation from an era when such things had to be implied - good example of the Hitchcock art while he was still in his prime. Eminently suspenseful and engaging.
Two memorable features stand out for me: the excellent black and white cinematography beginning with two contrasting pairs of shoes in the opening scenes and Robert Walker’s portrayal of the psychopathic killer, Bruno Anthony. However, there are too many flaws in the story line, unrealistic and laughable dialogue at times (“She’s dead! Get a doctor.”), and viewers always know that tennis star Guy Haines played by Farley Granger is going to get match point on his wacko opponent. The Hitchcock suspense is there, but only just and it’s not much of a thriller. Very good film for its time (1951), but that time has long gone.