1948 – Rope

★★★★★ USA. 1h20m. Thriller. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Written by Arthur Laurents (screenplay) and Hume Cronyn (story) and Patrick Hamilton (“Rope”). Cinematography by Joseph A. Valentine, William V. Skall. Edited by William H. Ziegler. Music by David Buttolph, Francis Poulenc, Leo F. Forbstein. Starring James Stewart, John Dall, Farley Granger, Joan Chandler, Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Constance Collier, Douglas Dick, Edith Evanson.

The first of Hitchcock’s Technicolor films, and is notable for taking place in real time and being edited so as to appear as a single shot through the use of long takes. It is the second of Hitchcock’s “limited setting” films, the first being Lifeboat. The original play was said to be inspired by the real-life murder of 14-year-old Bobby Franks in 1924 by University of Chicago students Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb.

1951 – Strangers On A Train

★★★★★ USA. 1h41m. Thriller. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Written by Raymond Chandler, Whitfield Cook, Czenzi Ormonde (screenplay) and Patricia Highsmith (“Strangers On A Train”). Cinematography by Robert Burks. Edited by William H. Ziegler. Music by Dmitri Tiomkin. Starring Farley Granger, Ruth Roman, Robert Walker, Leo G. Carroll, Pat Hitchcock, Laura Elliott, Marion Lorne, Jonathan Hale, Howard St. John, John Brown.

Concerns two strangers who meet on a train, a young tennis player and a charming psychopath. The psychopath suggests that because they each want to “get rid” of someone, they should “exchange” murders, and that way neither will be caught. The psychopath commits the first murder, then tries to force the tennis player to complete the bargain.