(1951)5Lucia BozzolaFrom the opening shots of two pairs of shoes walking, two train tracks crisscrossing, and those shoes accidentally bumping toes, Alfred Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train (1951) explores one of his signature concerns: the coexistence of good and evil in one person. In a story adapted from Patricia Highsmith's novel and structured through a series of doublings, Robert Walker's Bruno becomes the flamboyant homicidal id to Farley Granger's stiff arriviste Guy, obliging Guy's desire to eliminate his wife and expecting Guy to return the favor with Bruno's father. After the murder, dreamily reflected in a pair of eyeglasses, Bruno haunts Guy, menacingly popping into Guy's life in Washington and on the tennis court. Yet, with Walker's charisma and Granger's weakness, Bruno is the more charming figure, revealing the appeal of moral chaos even as that chaos must be punished. Hitchcock's persistent pairs -- shoes, train tracks, crossed tennis racquets on Guy's lighter, two fateful carnival trips, two bespectacled women -- point to the ineffable connection between Bruno and Guy, and the (literally) dark psychosis that lurks beneath everyone's bright, well-ordered surface. A popular success, Strangers on a Train was Hitchcock's return to form after several failures.