Strangers on a Train vs. Shadow of a Doubt



I have got this match up so many times I guess it wants me to comment. Joseph Cotten was great as the creepy uncle but the 'I kill your guy, you kill mine' proposition is a great beginning to a great movie.

An easy choice. Strangers on a Train all the way.

Completely agree, Strangers on a Train is much better.

Shadow of a Doubt annoyed me to some extent because of the stupid female characters; I guess it was kind of normal to portray women like that back in those days, but it really ruined the second half of the film for me. Strangers on a Train, however, is a true classic with great characters.

Strangers on a Train...far superior.

Shadow of a Doubt was Hitchcock's favorite out of his own films and it's high on my list, too. I love the way he takes a Capra-esque American small town and merely by introducing Joseph Cotten's Uncle Charlie, is able to shift the tone to one of menace. Some may find the female characters annoying, but at least they're not as faceless as the women in Strangers on a Train (the wonderful Pat Hitchcock always excepted). I also happen to think that Teresa Wright fills the role of protagonist much better than Farley Granger does in the later film. As much as I like Train, Shadow wins out here.

Shakespeare wrote (or this is attributed to him, anyway) something about keeping the front row and the back row in mind. The front row being the mindless drunks who only care about spectacle and lewdness, and the back row being the chin-strokers, of course. I wouldn't be surprised if Hitchcock lived by that philosophy, and my opinion that's his weakness. You can't please everyone; if you try, your work will become impersonal and confused, even if it's extremely well crafted. Like, I'm supposed to laugh at that overly precocious little girl or the goofy murder chat (it's funny because it's not proper dinner discussion, ho ho) immediately after mulling over Hitchcock's thematic obsession with duality, and then jump right back to the serious stuff? Whatever. So yeah, Shadow feels a little too "designed". Strangers has a great premise, like people say, even though I remember that carousel scene being really stupid and out of place.

I love both of these. Strangers wins by a slim margin.

Guess i'm in the minority here because i think Strangers on a Train is vastly overrated. Shadow of a doubt works much better on a psychological level too.

Yeah, I am with Boonmee on this one, Strangers by a hair.

I'm with Boonme and JC13. Both are in my top 50 but Strangers has the edge for the more original plot.

Pretty good contest here. Giving Strangers the edge for originality.

Probably my two favorite Hitchcock films. With the exception of the tennis match in Strangers, both have aged extraordinarily well (unlike Spellbound, for example). I like Strangers just slightly more, but it's a tough call.

Love both, but Strangers is my pick.

Shadow of A Doubt might be the best Hitchcock I've seen. That or Psycho. I've seen about 16 of his films. I much prefer it to SOAT which is also excellent.

Didn't like Strangers as much as I thought I would. I find Shadow of a Doubt a little more interesting.

Strangers on a Train for me. Hitchcock style developed substantially by the time this film got released; Showcasing excellent set pieces and riveting drama.

The Sophie's Choice of Flickchart. Strangers on a Train is more substantial, but Shadow of a Doubt, while less plausible, is a little breezier and easier to watch (which actually makes the evil more striking when we finally see it).

I loved the first and third acts of Strangers. Shadow of a Doubt seems forgettable to me.