A to G

Interlibrary loan is a wonderful thing… when it works right. I put in a request for Strangers on a Train almost two weeks ago, and it just came in yesterday afternoon. While I was wondering if it would show up in time, I decided to watch the movie. This may have been a mistake, since the storylines differ significantly.

Guy Haines

A seemingly insignificant yet interesting difference is Bruno’s name. In the book he’s Charles Anthony Bruno, mainly referred to as Bruno. In the movie he’s Bruno Anthony. Guy Haines is Guy Haines in both, and the book calls him Guy. So in the book we’re on a first name basis with one character, yet on a not formal but less familiar basis with the other. Highsmith lets us into both of their heads, so it’s not like we know one better than the other. Maybe she’s trying to create a subtle distance between Bruno and us.

Bruno Anthony

I suppose Bruno is his first name in the movie to emphasize the creepy over-familiarity he takes with people. In the film, we’re introduced to the characters by their feet, which in itself has a kind of creepy over-familiarity. I don’t know much about shoes or the styles of 1950, but Bruno looks rather eccentric to me right from the start. Just as in the novel, their relationship starts with some accidental footsie.

The dance begins…

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3 Responses to A to G

  1. Jim Groom says:

    I have seen the film a number of times, but I am waiting until after the book this time because I want to re-experience the film, which is a masterpiece of its own right—and like Mildred Pierce far more popular than the novel. I’m gonna try and set up a movie night this weekend for the class 🙂

    Also, what I like in the book at the beginning is the description of Bruno through the huge ass pimple on his forehead that is described at various times as a volcano ready to erupt. So visceral and bodily in its malignance—I love that!

  2. Mo says:

    I’m sorry you think the movie might have ruined the book for you, because so far I love it a lot! The imagery in this book is very wonderful, even though the characters can be a little unemotional, it feels as though I am experiencing every train ride and even being able to fully feel the murder from the murderer’s perspective. I like the GIF of the “footsie”!

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