This week on The Spectator Film Podcast…
Strangers on a Train (1951) 12.7.18
Players: Austin, Maxx
Commentary starts at 28:35
— Notes —
- Hitchcock’s Films Revisited by Robin Wood — There are several iterations of this book, the first in 1965 and the latest in 2002 – I reckon they’re all worth reading, but I’m linking to the one I happen to own. I highly recommend this book. I’m always struck by the clarity and sincerity of Robin Wood’s criticism, and this book is no exception. I think it works incredibly well as both an introduction to Hitchcock’s work and as a critical counterweight, as Hitchcock scholarship often feels dominated by Lacan and psychoanalysis.
- “‘Strangers on a Train’: A Technically Perfect Psychological Carousel as One of Hitchcock’s Best” from Cinephilia & Beyond — A typically exhaustive and incredible blog post on Strangers on a Train from Cinephilia & Beyond. I don’t believe we’ve linked to this website before, but it’s absolutely one of the best film study resources on the internet and I highly recommend it to any listeners. (They’re also asking for donations to keep the site up. Just sayin’…)
- Hitchcock by François Truffaut — Essential reading for any cinephile, this famous book doesn’t interrogate Hitchcock’s work to the same degree as some of the other resources we’ve listed, but it’s a wonderful read and lots of fun.
- Here’s a link to Raymond Chandler’s amusingly grumpy letter chiding Hitchcock for his dismissal from the film.
- Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Lacan (But Were Afraid to Ask Hitchcock) edited by Slavoj Žižek — Here’s some of the better Lacanian criticism of Hitchcock, of which you can a lot. I’d recommend this as a decent entry point for this type of scholarship – at least, as decent as you might find with Lacanian psychoanalysis.
- “The Strange, Difficult History of Queer Coding” by Tricia Ennis — Here’s a very thorough and thoughtful article from Syfy WIRE on the practice of “Queer Coding,” which we discuss in reference to the way Hitchcock tends to establish character.
- John Steinbeck, Dashiell Hammett, and Thornton Wilder never actually worked on the script, but were simply asked to work on the film and rejected the offer.
- Barbara Keon is the name of the associate producer who aided Alma Reville and Czenzi Ormonde in writing the final screenplay.