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Hitch's OBSESSION With Trains!


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Has anyone ever noticed Mr. Hitchcock's obsession with trains? I name a bunch of movie of the top of my head that have trains it it: "Suspicion", "North By Northwest", "Strangers On A Train", "39 Steps", "The Lady Vanishes", "Shadow Of A Doubt", I know I was thinking of another one, but I just can't think of it!

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Trains are a world of their own. They are little mobile cities. They are like ?Grand Hotel? on wheels. You can leave L.A. in the afternoon, have a nice dinner at a table that has a flower in a small vase, converse with strangers (the waiters seat 4 people to a table, and chances are you won't know the other people), and you can wonder if you are going to make it to your destination alive. While you are asleep, you leave California and pass into the Great Western Desert. By morning you are in Arizona or New Mexico.

 

Unlike an airplane, you can walk around during the entire trip if you want to and mingle with the strangers. The poor people are up front in coach, and the rich ones are in the back in the roomettes. But all can mingle together in the Dining Car or the Lounge Car. On a train trip you can wonder if there is a murder on board. If you are an old movie fan, you can worry about Nazis throwing a switch on the track in the middle of the night, and you might wind up on the way to Berlin by morning.

 

When I was a kid, trains were the main means of transportation in the US. Airlines were too expensive, and buses were too crowded. All the trains when I was a kid were pulled by steam engines.

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Back in the day more people took trains than other forms of transport....in Europe trains are still a used more than in the states. Besides.....the "close quarters" of a train make filming a challenge and Hitch liked challenges.

A few other train films I like are "The Train" with Burt Lancaster and both versions of "Narrow Margin".

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