Dr. Rich Edwards

Daily Dose #13: Criss Cross (Opening Scene of Strangers on a Train)

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I loved rewatching this scene with these questions in mind, because I noticed the criss cross much more! The men coming from two different directions and eventually meeting shows that they will have something in common even though their backgrounds are different. The differing styles match the characters' personalities, with Bruno being flashy and Guy being more in the background.

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1. Hitchcock's "criss cross" begins with the two characters getting out of the taxi in different ends of the train station. We also see the train crossing the tracks, serving as symbolism, and as we head onto the train (still with the camera pointed at their feet at this point), it is where these two come across one another, as soon as one of them accidentally taps the other's shoe.

2. The shoes, since they stick out and give us an idea on who is who.

3. Tiompkin composes the music to make it feel like at first is suspenseful and full of mystery for the opening credits, but as the credits end, it's more lively and normal in tone.

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1.   The metaphor of “criss cross”:


 


The cars in the background cross in the long shot. The taxis drop the men at different ends of the train station. The men approach the station door from different sides. The obvious criss-cross of the train tracks The men take their seats on the train from different sides. Many fo the men and women ont he train have their legs crossed. After sitting, both men cross their legs which leads to Guy’s foot bumping in to Bruno’s. Another man crosses in the background.


 


 


2.    Contrasts between Guy and Bruno:


 


Bruno’s wardrobe is flashy: white wing-tipped shoes, a pin-stripped suit and flowered tie and a tie clasp with his name.  He is showy, self-important, narcissistic.  Guy is dressed in staid, conservative colors and almost a sporty look (the v-neck sweater under his coat). Bruno is in-your-face, his speech and body language are overpowering. Guy seems more shy and reserved, unassuming. Even their luggage is consistent with their personality.


 


 


3.    The score:


 


The music is initially triumphant then becomes more sober/melancholy. The score sweeps to suspense as the train moves closer, then lively. It slows down when the two walk toward their seats. The music foreshadows what is to come when they bump feet .


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1. Everything in this opening sequence builds up to Bruno & Guy crossing paths. The cars in the opening credits, the close-ups of the legs of the two protagonists walking to the train, the criss-cross of the tracks, and then the shoes bumping together as Bruno crosses his legs-it might have been enough of a bump to give notice but it had explosive force and set the wheels in motion.

2. Bruno is flashy, brash and domineering in appearance and personality: the two-toned spats, the suit, and his namepin. Guy is quieter, reserved in dress and manner.

3. Tiomkin's music is peppy at the outset with the strings but the brass takes over and gets louder and their paths cross and collide.

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In how many ways does Hitchcock play with or visually manifest the metaphor of “criss cross” or “criss-crossing” in this introductory sequence. [For those who haven’t seen the film yet, the idea of “criss cross” is central idea in this film, a theme Hitch sets up from the opening frames of this film] Be specific.

 

He uses the cabs pulling up in different directions, the men are walking from two different angles and even sit down as if they got on the train from two different doors.  He also does something I would think people might miss and not even think about if they weren't paying attention or studying the film.  He films the feet as they swing back and forth, the motion itself is that each foot is criss crossing the other in a parallel line.  Lastly Hitchcock uses the train tracks to show the criss cross pattern before the two men meet.

 

Even in this brief scene, how does Hitchcock create a sense of contrast between Guy (Farley Granger) and Bruno (Robert Walker)? Consider everything from camera work, to clothing and shoes, to dialogue and speech, for example.

 

Bruno has white and black shoes, he talks a great deal and he is wearing a pin stripped suit.  Guy is wearing dark shoes (solid color), his suit is dark and he barely says a word.  

 

While the visual design gets the most attention typically, how does the Dimitri Tiomkin score function as part of the mood and atmosphere of this opening sequence?

 

The music sets the mood as there is not talking until the two men meet.  In modern films, the crowd would be louder, there might be certain gossip phrases heard or the men might be heard talking on their phones. Hitchcock instead falls back to his normal silent era days and lets the music be the words for the opening.  The music climbs as the two men get closer to meeting and it is used as the bump when the two feet hit each other. 

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  1. In how many ways does Hitchcock play with or visually manifest the metaphor of “criss cross” or “criss-crossing” in this introductory sequence. [For those who haven’t seen the film yet, the idea of “criss cross” is central idea in this film, a theme Hitch sets up from the opening frames of this film] Be specific.

The movie opens with a picture of the U.S. Capitol building - perhaps a tongue-in-cheek reference to the way politicians "cross-cross" or double cross the hapless constituents by saying one thing and doing another. Then the cabs arrive.  As the two gentlemen traverse the train station concourse, there are numerous criss-crossings with the other passengers and the diamond-shaped tiles on the floor. And, once the two men enter the train car, their legs criss-cross with all the other passengers' legs on the way to his seat. 

As we watch the flow of the tracks as the train pulls out of the station, you have a sense that although there are two paths, as the train pulls to the right, both characters are destined to go the same way - a metaphor for how Bruno convinces Guy to buy into his psychopathic idea.

Then there's the obvious criss-crossing as each gentleman crosses his legs while seated in the train car. The bump happens and an intersection of their lives begins.

 

2. Even in this brief scene, how does Hitchcock create a sense of contrast between Guy (Farley Granger) and Bruno (Robert Walker)? Consider everything from camera work, to clothing and shoes, to dialogue and speech, for example.

First of all there's the difference in the two men's shoes - Bruno's is a very noticeable spectator shoe, and Guy's are black oxfords with thick soles. In addition, the two men reach their seats from opposite directions coming into the car. Bruno is dressed in a suit and tie, while Guy is dressed in a more casual manner with a sweater vest and jacket. Bruno is most outgoing, talking about himself, while Guy is polite but quiet and reticent.

 

3. While the visual design gets the most attention typically, how does the Dimitri Tiomkin score function as part of the mood and atmosphere of this opening sequence?

 

Mr. Tiomkin's score is fabulous as it raises the pitch of emotion and makes us aware of things we should pay attention to. As each gentleman exits the cab, a separate interlude of "introduction" is heard, telling us that these characters are the ones to pay attention to. As the gentlemen walk through the concourse the beat changes to a steady "walking" pace, conveying a quick journey through the crowd to the train and a sense of purpose. Once we see the gentlemen's legs moving toward their respective seats, the music becomes very quiet, then ceases once they are seated. At the end of the film, of course, the music undeniably contributes to the the extreme violence of the merry-go-round running amok and the dangerous character of Bruno running through the amusement park.

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  1. In how many ways does Hitchcock play with or visually manifest the metaphor of “criss cross” or “criss-crossing” in this introductory sequence. [For those who haven’t seen the film yet, the idea of “criss cross” is central idea in this film, a theme Hitch sets up from the opening frames of this film] Be specific. The railroad tracks are the most obvious metaphor. The tracks are seen ahead, criss-crossing one another. I think it's interesting that the train starts off heading straight on the tracks and then veers to the right, off the original path. This is symbolic I think of Guy veering off his path in life. The men meet when guy is crossing his legs and taps Bruno's foot. The way each man is shot walking diagonally towards one another is an indication that their paths will eventually cross.

  2. Even in this brief scene, how does Hitchcock create a sense of contrast between Guy (Farley Granger) and Bruno (Robert Walker)? Consider everything from camera work, to clothing and shoes, to dialogue and speech, for example.  Their shoes are the first thing we notice. Bruno's are flashy while Guy's are non-descript, more conservative. Bruno is wearing a tie with his name on it, Guy's dress is much more subdued. In terms of their speech, Guy says very little -- polite acknowledgments of Bruno. Bruno recognizes Guy as a tennis star, immediately invades his space and explains about the tie his mother bought him. Then he tells Guy to continue reading his book because he doesn't talk much, which may be Hitchcock's subtle humor or in this case may be an early indication that Bruno is shady --- he's already lied to us.

While the visual design gets the most attention typically, how does the Dimitri Tiomkin score function as part of the mood and atmosphere of this opening sequence? The music over the opening credits is grand, dramatic with a hint of melancholy. When the men exit their cars it turns a bit playful and lighter.As they are striding towards their eventual meeting, there is a march-like element to it. Then it halts abruptly when they meet. It conveys that this is a significant, fateful meeting. 

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In how many ways does Hitchcock play with or visually manifest the metaphor of “criss cross” or “criss-crossing” in this introductory sequence. [For those who haven’t seen the film yet, the idea of “criss cross” is central idea in this film, a theme Hitch sets up from the opening frames of this film] Be specific.

 

Having the train tracks intersect is indicative of how these characters form different worlds will meet and interact. it also is representative of how the audience will intersect with the film maker himself.

 

 

Even in this brief scene, how does Hitchcock create a sense of contrast between Guy (Farley Granger) and Bruno (Robert Walker)? Consider everything from camera work, to clothing and shoes, to dialogue and speech, for example.

 

The obvious things are the clothes, the way they speak and even how each of them is lt in the scene. Also it is clearly obviously that Guy is from a more privileged lifestyle than Bruno. There is also the music as well that moves and swirls around them to create atmosphere.

 

While the visual design gets the most attention typically, how does the Dimitri Tiomkin score function as part of the mood and atmosphere of this opening sequence?

 

His score is great in that it sets up the pace by moving along in pacing almost like a train. it builds and smolders and moves and then it calms down and picks up again.

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1. Criss crossing - different directions, different shoe types (plain vs flash), the actual train tracks (choosing a direction path) crossing.

 

2. They have different shoes, pants, carry different objects (suitcase, tennis racquets), one of them is quiet and reading and appears to be modest, the other one comes off as louder flashier- likes to broadcast who he is (Bruno tie clip).

 

3. The score serves to create a cheerful mood to open the picture- this film could be a comedy if not for the nefarious subject matter- it is upbeat and bouncy and creates some excitement that one might feel if they were going on a train trip.

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  1. In how many ways does Hitchcock play with or visually manifest the metaphor of “criss cross” or “criss-crossing” in this introductory sequence. Be specific.    They both arrive in Diamond Taxi's but on opposite ends of the Train Station.  Bruno walks from the right of the screen, while Guy walks from the left. The train tracks converge from the left then cross over to the right side. Even on the train, they walk in the same direction up until they sit and finally make contact.

     

  2. Even in this brief scene, how does Hitchcock create a sense of contrast between Guy (Farley Granger) and Bruno (Robert Walker)? Consider everything from camera work, to clothing and shoes, to dialogue and speech, for example. Bruno is flashy to the point of tackiness with the two-toned shoes.  His suit is a tailored pin-stripe. Guy's shoes are simple plain brown and look well worn along with the jacket and pants.  Rather or not he has the money, he doesn't spend it on his attire.  Bruno does all the talking.  Guy only smiles and says "How do you do". Guy seems shy and reserved while Bruno is a fast talker and dominates the meeting.

 

While the visual design gets the most attention typically, how does the Dimitri Tiomkin score function as part of the mood and atmosphere of this opening sequence? The music is faster paced and emphasizes the action of the movement.  The movement  or action from the taxi's to walking through the station. The train on the tracks, to the action within the train and the two characters meeting. 

 

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Watching Daily Dose #13 Strangers On a Train....makes me want to see the movie very much...

 

#1 The use of criss crossing is very interesting in this opening scene. Along with the obvious crossed railroad tracks and the train crossing to enter the right track, there is the criss crossing as the two men walk in different directions toward the train platform, on crosses from upper left of the screen to lower right and the other crosses from upper right to lower left. There are also the crossed legs as each sits down in a seat. 

 

#2 We see a lot in this opening sequence to let us know that these are two very different men. One wears shoes and a suit that are a bit ostentatious and one wears plain but expensive brown shoes and a good suit and tie. You can tell that Guy has money, and perhaps Bruno does not. Bruno seems quiet and educated as he sits down to read and we find right away that he is a tennis player (a sport for the rich), while Bruno is talkative and a bit brash and impulsive...moving right in to sit next to Guy without even asking. 

 

#3. The music is full and robust as the film starts promising a journey it lifts and excites us, the rhythm as they walk along to the train is catchy and not sinister at all....when they sit down the music goes quieter but still kind of whimsical until their feet touch and the music plays a pounding note which gives us a sense of unease, something to come that may not be as playful as we thought.

 

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1. I counted three visual examples of "criss crossing" in the scene. I counted the intercutting shots of the two men exited the cab and walking towards the train as one, because they appear to be heading in opposite directions towards one another. I also noticed the crossing of the legs, first by Bruno and then by Guy, which causes the third "criss cross" when their toes bump into one another. 

 

2. Hitch contrasts the two men, at first, by their style. Bruno exits the cab wearing flashy pinstripes and wingtip (I believe that's the term) dress shoes, while Guy is seen in a much more traditional solid black cover with "normal" dress shoes. Bruno also wears a tie clip with his name, which seems par for the course considering his "loud" tie and shoes. 

 

3. Tiomkin's score is played with a full orchestra and seems quite loud during the credits, but seems to calm down for a bit until the two men are walking towards the train. It is during this sequence, that the score seems to pick up a bit, building suspense, until we get the full flourish again during the train tracks shot. It then returns to a calmer tune with a sudden burst when the two characters' toes touch. Then, the music stops abruptly to enable the dialogue between the two men. All of this adds to the suspense of the scene and creates a mood of foreboding.

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In how many ways does Hitchcock play with or visually manifest the metaphor of “criss cross” or “criss-crossing” in this introductory sequence. [For those who haven’t seen the film yet, the idea of “criss cross” is central idea in this film, a theme Hitch sets up from the opening frames of this film] Be specific.

 

The two sets of feet are walking toward each Bruno's cab comes from the left to right, Bruno gets out and walks to the left, Guy gets out and walks to right.  Always toward each other.  There is a sense of destiny that the two will meet.  A low angle following the tracks as the train cross from set of tracks to the other.  As they walk toward each other many of the passengers have crossed legs as they sit.  Finally as they sit, feet pointed toward each other,  Guy crosses his legs and their paths ultimately cross.  It is actually Guy who initiates the contact, intersting that perhaps he actually wants the intrusion.

 

Even in this brief scene, how does Hitchcock create a sense of contrast between Guy (Farley Granger) and Bruno (Robert Walker)? Consider everything from camera work, to clothing and shoes, to dialogue and speech, for example.

 

Bruno, saddle shoes, pinstripe, more flashy than Guy's solid colors of shoes and pants.  Guy is more casual attire, but still sophisticated.  Bruno, while in a suit, seems tacky.  In the only shot they are both in before on the train, as they enter the gate, Bruno walks with a cocky hand in one pocket swagger, Guy a more casual walk both hands free.  Bruno, when they do bump feet, is more talky and pushy and intrusive.  Guy only says three brief lines during the whole scene.  He wants to just read, but is polite with the intrusion.

 

 

While the visual design gets the most attention typically, how does the Dimitri Tiomkin score function as part of the mood and atmosphere of this opening sequence?

 

During the opening credits, the mood is light, there is common thread of the score, but both Bruno and Guy have a unique theme as they leave their respective cabs.  Bruno's theme is more energetic more man on the move.  Guy's theme is more light and relaxed.  As they move toward each other the common theme becomes more slow and the final note when their feet touch.

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1) Criss Cross was one of the main motifs in this film. The two men who come from different ways joins together just by a formal conversation. The motif were symbolised as the railway tracks, their shoes and their walk from different directions.

 

2) The fact is that Guy is an Introvert whereas Bruno is an Extrovert. One could see that Guy doesn't talk much whereas Bruno does all the talking in this scene while saying that he doesn't talk much with a sarcastic punch. The fashion sense of both men also shows the difference. Bruno is dressed in sheer elegance while he is just a nobody whereas Guy is a professional tennis player and he wears his attire as that of a normal man. It must be that Guy is a celebrity and he wishes to avoid contact from public eyes.

 

3) Dimitri Tiomkin's background score is composed perfectly for the scene as we can see that both the strangers are walking fastly to get aboard the train.

 

https://images.gr-assets.com/hostedimages/1471879881ra/20119407.gif

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In how many ways does Hitchcock play with or visually manifest the metaphor of “criss cross” or “criss-crossing” in this introductory sequence. [For those who haven’t seen the film yet, the idea of “criss cross” is central idea in this film, a theme Hitch sets up from the opening frames of this film] Be specific.

 

One has all black shoes.  The other mostly stark white shoes, with black trim.

They are each shown walking across the frame in different directions.

The criss crossing of the railroad tracks.

On the train they each approach their seats form different directions.  And sit on opposite sides on the train, but directly across from one another.

One wears a light coloured jacket, the other dark.

 

 

 

Even in this brief scene, how does Hitchcock create a sense of contrast between Guy (Farley Granger) and Bruno (Robert Walker)? Consider everything from camera work, to clothing and shoes, to dialogue and speech, for example.

 

One has all black shoes.  The other mostly stark white shoes, with black trim.

They are each shown walking across the frame in different directions.

On the train they each approach their seats form different directions.  And sit on opposite sides on the train, but directly across from one another.

One wears a light coloured suit, the other dark.

Bruno is much more talkative and outgoing, while Guy just wants to read his book.

 

 

 

While the visual design gets the most attention typically, how does the Dimitri Tiomkin score function as part of the mood and atmosphere of this opening sequence?

 

The music matches the pace of their footsteps. 

 

 

 

 

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We see many criss-crossings, the train tracks, crossing paths, and crossing their legs touching shoes. There is a sense of contrast between Guy and Bruno as Bruno is neat in expensive, more fashionable clothes. Guy appears more everyday man with a lack of interest is fashionable, instead of more sensible clothing and athletic with his tennis rackets. Guy is working as a tennis player while Bruno is still letting his mother pick out his tie clasps implying he might be living at home. Dimitri Tiomkin's score is like the criss- crossed theme visually, the music crosses back and forth from quick paced to moody.   

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  1. In how many ways does Hitchcock play with or visually manifest the metaphor of “criss cross” or “criss-crossing” in this introductory sequence. [For those who haven’t seen the film yet, the idea of “criss cross” is central idea in this film, a theme Hitch sets up from the opening frames of this film] Be specific.

I see the crossing of the feet, the train tracks and the legs.

 

  1. Even in this brief scene, how does Hitchcock create a sense of contrast between Guy (Farley Granger) and Bruno (Robert Walker)? Consider everything from camera work, to clothing and shoes, to dialogue and speech, for example.

Guy's movements are unrehearsed and plain. His speech is almost nonexistent. His clothes are very plain and more like casual wear for that time period. His shoes ate the same. Bruno almost glides as he walks and just strolls with a casual confidence. He's obviously ostentatious from his clothes to his shoes and even the way he gestures as he talks to Guy. He leans toward him as if they're old friends.

 

  1. While the visual design gets the most attention typically, how does the Dimitri Tiomkin score function as part of the mood and atmosphere of this opening sequence?

The beginning feels very wistful and then changes to playful and a bit foreboding at times.

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Hitchcock visually manifests the metaphor of "criss-cross" right at the beginning of this scene as we see the cars cross each other on the street and the people cross each other on the sidewalk as the opening credits are running.  Then, again we see it as Bruno and Guy are walking to the train from opposite sides of the station.  We see the "criss-cross" again with the train tracks.  Again, we see the legs walking on the train, crossing through a sea of chair and table legs.  When Bruno and Guy sit down, they both cross their legs and Guy bumps Bruno.  Finally, Bruno crosses the aisle to sit by Guy.

 

Hitchcock creates a sense of conflict between Guy and Bruno first with their clothes and shoes.  We see Bruno get out of the cab with two-tone shoes, a pin stripe suit, and we eventually will see his wild lobster-printed tie and "Bruno" tie clip.  Guy, on the other hand, has more subdued solid shoes, slacks, sweater, tweed jacket, and subtle checked tie.  There is also a mild conflict when Guy bumps Bruno's foot.  The music, also, highlights a conflict as it changes (see below).  When Bruno crosses the aisle to sit at Guy's table without invitation, that also creates a sense of conflict.  Then, Bruno says "I don't talk much," buy he never shuts up, even though Guy is trying to read.

 

The music definitely sets the initial mood or atmosphere for the scene.  At the beginning, it is upbeat, but still a little mysterious, maybe indicating an impending menace (i.e., Bruno).  When Bruno gets out of his cab, the music shifts and seems to have an element of sneakiness.  Then, when Guy gets out of his cab, the music seems more playful.  As we see the two sets of legs walking through the station to the train, the tempo of the music is perfectly coordinated with their footsteps.  The music builds as the train is taking off, then it is quieter on the train, only to raise at the moment Guy bumps Bruno to emphasize the first moment of their contact.

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1. It starts with the legs as the move towards the train, then it's the train tracks as the train begins to move and finally the shoes when Guy and Bruno finally meet.

 

2. Guy is comes across as confident, well dress and comfortable in his surroundings while Bruno is quieter, much less polished and seems ill at ease in the train car.

 

3. Tomkins music starts out carefree and light picking up speed, drama and intensity as we get closer and closer to the meeting of these two men.

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1.  In how many ways does Hitchcock play with or visually manifest the metaphor of “criss cross” or “criss-crossing” in this introductory sequence. [For those who haven’t seen the film yet, the idea of “criss cross” is central idea in this film, a theme Hitch sets up from the opening frames of this film] Be specific.  

 

While the credits are rolling, we see the traffic and pedestrians crossing in the background.  I do love how the shot shifts from the distant view to the lower, close-up view of the taxi arriving at the curb.  We then see feet emerging from the taxi, cross cut to different feet emerging from a different taxi.  Then there are cross cuts of these two pairs of feet crossing the station, crossing paths with other travelers, and crossing into the entry to the train platform.  Of course, there are the crossing train tracks.  That's a great scene.  There is more crossing as the two pairs of legs/feet, cross through the train car, in front of other legs and chairs.  When they do sit down, they cross their legs - and then we see their faces.  Fascinating and intriguing opening scene. 

 

2. Even in this brief scene, how does Hitchcock create a sense of contrast between Guy (Farley Granger) and Bruno (Robert Walker)? Consider everything from camera work, to clothing and shoes, to dialogue and speech, for example.

 

The first sense of contrast is created through costume.  Bruno has fancy shoes and a striped suit.  He even walks with a jaunty step and his hand in his pocket.  He gives off an air of nonchalance, yet, a little flashy.  He even shows his tie clip with his name to Guy.  Plus, once we see him, he starts talking about himself nonstop.  Guy, on the other hand, has plain shoes, a fairly plain, solid color suit, and is carrying tennis rackets.  In speech, Guy is quiet and polite, while Bruno is talkative and brash, almost pushy in sitting down next to Guy and yakking away.  Also, I don't know if it's deliberate (when is it not?), but Bruno's talking about himself makes me think he's a liar.  He likes telling Guy what he's like, and I've often thought that people who tell others how they are, generally are hiding how they really are.  For example - President Trump is always saying, "Trust me!".  That's the last thing I would do!

 

But, I digress.  The scene seems lighter when it's focused on Bruno's feet and legs walking across the floor, in contrast to Guy's walking scene and crossing into the train car.  Guy's focus does seem slightly darker, but maybe that's just me.

 

3. While the visual design gets the most attention typically, how does the Dimitri Tiomkin score function as part of the mood and atmosphere of this opening sequence.

 

The music is lush and faintly classical over the credits, and then turns light and playful as the scene cuts to the shots of the legs getting out of the taxis, and crossing the sidewalk/station.  It's hard to figure out what to expect from the change in the music.  The music then changes into an uptempo rhythm, almost a march as the many feet of the passengers funnel onto the platform.  The music under the train tracks shot was so reminiscent of High Noon, that I had to check IMDB.  Same composer - Dimitri Tiomkin.  As the characters are anonymously crossing through the train cars, the music suddenly turns rather ominous and eerie.  Now, we really don't know what to expect in this movie.

    

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Even in this brief scene, how does Hitchcock create a sense of contrast between Guy (Farley Granger) and Bruno (Robert Walker)? Consider everything from camera work, to clothing and shoes, to dialogue and speech, for example. Before we actually see the faces of the characters, we are meeting them. Their shoes, their walking, their luggage are all things that differentiate them and prepare us to meet them. 

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1. In how many ways does Hitchcock play with or visually manifest the metaphor of “criss cross” or “criss-crossing” in this introductory sequence. [For those who haven’t seen the film yet, the idea of “criss cross” is central idea in this film, a theme Hitch sets up from the opening frames of this film] Be specific.

Besides the train tracks crossing in the opening scene Hitch also uses the criss cross by having the gentlemen's paths crossing as well as them crossing their legs before the their feet touch to introduce the characters.  There is also the crossing of the musically themes.  

 

2. Even in this brief scene, how does Hitchcock create a sense of contrast between Guy (Farley Granger) and Bruno (Robert Walker)? Consider everything from camera work, to clothing and shoes, to dialogue and speech, for example.

The distinctions between the characters is a little bit of everything.  With the start of the shoes, Guy being dark with dark pants where Bruno is in black and white with a stripped pants.  When we see their ties you can even se teh difference there where Bruno is a little louder print Guy is a plainer tie design.  This may say something about the characters themselves.

   

3. While the visual design gets the most attention typically, how does the Dimitri Tiomkin score function as part of the mood and atmosphere of this opening sequence?

The music starts off light and fun until the train starts going down the tracks where it is heavy and dark.  The themes are similar but different enough that you can tell something is going to happen on that train with the lighter characters theme. 

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In complete Hitchcock style, the opening to Strangers on a Train doesn't disappoint.  We are left with the mystery behind the introduction of the lead characters, not knowing exactly what we are going to encounter, but subtle clues are left behind to indicate there may be some conflict.  We have the fancy black/white shoes compared to the average dark shoes.  There's a swiftness and purpose to the black/white shoes while an ordinary, normal pace to the dark shoes.  There are tennis rackets with the dark shoes, and so we know we have an athlete....

 

When the characters finally bump feet and we see their faces, we have the quiet, reserved character of Guy and the pushy, in-your-face character of Bruno.  This is the kind of guy you DON'T want to sit next to on a plane, train, or bus.  He's the one that will talk your ear off for the entire ride and has no intentions of letting up.  He grabs Guy's hand to shake it, goes over and sits right next to him....you know right away that he's really NOT going to stop talking and let Guy read his book.  They dynamics of these two characters truly leave you wondering what will happen next!

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1. In how many ways does Hitchcock play with or visually manifest the metaphor of “criss cross” or “criss-crossing” in this introductory sequence. [For those who haven’t seen the film yet, the idea of “criss cross” is central idea in this film, a theme Hitch sets up from the opening frames of this film] Be specific.

Besides the train tracks crossing in the opening scene Hitch also uses the criss cross by having the gentlemen's paths crossing as well as them crossing their legs before the their feet touch to introduce the characters.  There is also the crossing of the musically themes.  

 

2. Even in this brief scene, how does Hitchcock create a sense of contrast between Guy (Farley Granger) and Bruno (Robert Walker)? Consider everything from camera work, to clothing and shoes, to dialogue and speech, for example.

The distinctions between the characters is a little bit of everything.  With the start of the shoes, Guy being dark with dark pants where Bruno is in black and white with a stripped pants.  When we see their ties you can even se teh difference there where Bruno is a little louder print Guy is a plainer tie design.  This may say something about the characters themselves.

   

3. While the visual design gets the most attention typically, how does the Dimitri Tiomkin score function as part of the mood and atmosphere of this opening sequence?

The music starts off light and fun until the train starts going down the tracks where it is heavy and dark.  The themes are similar but different enough that you can tell something is going to happen on that train with the lighter characters theme. 

I never even noticed the ties until you said something.  Great catch!

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1. Criss cross: The tracks or rails criss-cross more than once (twice I think). The two protagonists paths cross more than once. Bruno leaves the taxi from the right side of the screen, Granger from the left. Bruno walks to the train barriers first from one side and Granger crosses the same path from the other and also they get on the train one after the other, again one crossing the path of the other. Finally Granger touches Walker's foot so another criss-cross as he crosses his leg and Bruno already has his legs crossed. So a lot of criss-crosses.

 

2. The contrast between Bruno and Granger: Bruno wears two-toned shoes (light and dark), is more flamboyantly dressed with a floral tie and tie-pin with his name on it and all this is reflected in his attention-seeking outgoing personality. Granger wears a more formal darker 3 piece suit, more subtle reflected in his nervous, more closed character.

 

3. Tiomkin's music accompanies the visual scenes.Dramatic to start with, it becomes very rousing when the title is shown on the screen. As the cab pulls up to the kerb and Bruno gets off, it remains dramatic but quieter and then becomes lighter and more jazzy. As Granger gets off his cab, the music echoes that of when Bruno got off his cab but is a little lighter. As the camera shoots Bruno walking to the train barrier, the music continues and the same music is repeated as Granger follows the same path. Finally the music quietens down and stops altogether as Bruno starts speaking to Granger. The music emphasises from the start that Bruno is the more dominant personality and hints at how he is going to control Granger.

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