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The Truth Behind Strangers On A Train

I’ve found many rich anecdotes about Strangers On A Train in John Russell Taylor’s compelling Hitch biography.  Here a few few.

-When Hitch bought the novel by Patricia Highsmith, he only paid $2,000 for it as Highsmith was a beginning writer.  In fact, Hitch told the young writer, you should pay me for doing the film because of what it will do for your career.  Of course, Hitch was right.

-Nearly a dozen writers turned down the offer to write the script based on Hitch’s treatment.  They just couldn’t understand where the master was going.  So Hitch went outside of the box – to the great Raymond Chandler.

-Chandler was living the hard life at the time, rich, but drinking and caring for his semi-invalid wife.  He didn’t like Hitchcock coming over to the house. So one day, when Hitch’s limo drove up, he yelled, "Look at that fat bastard trying to get out of his car."  In the weeks that followed, Chandler became too much a prima donna for Hitchcock, so the director turned to Czenzi Ormonde for finishing touches.  Ben Hecht had some input as well.  The result: a stunning comeback movie that’s now a classic.

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