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Strangers on a Train

Comparison:

  • Original Version
  • Preview Version
Release: Aug 12, 2013 - Author: Muck47 - Translator: Mr Miau - external link: IMDB
Comparison between the Original Version (HD) and the Preview VersionVersion (SD) both taken from the Blu-ray by Warner Home Video.


33 differences, consisting of
* 32 instances of additional footage in the Preview Version
* 7 instances of additional footage in the Original Version
* 6 instances of alternative footage

Difference in running time: 128,4 sec (= 2:08 min)



There are two official versions of Hitchcock's classic about the infamous perfect crime. The second version was found no earlier than 1991 in an archive and then released in British cinemas. The first DVD release of the movie contained both versions, calling them "British" (the newer one) and "US" Version.
However, because no real evidence for the assumption that the newly discovered version was meant for the UK market could be found, it was later (for example on the Blu-ray used for this comparison) called "Preview Version". The older and more well-known version will be called "Original Version" here.

Running about 2 minutes longer, the Preview Version offers various alterations to the original. These may not be as extensive as one might expect for different movie versions nowadays, but they are certainly more than simple extensions.
The first thing to mention is certainly the additional footage. Most striking is probably the additional dialogue between Guy and Bruno in the train, sometimes accompanied by alternative takes. The homosexual undertones are amplified here, the first Flipper DVD in the US also promised "a startling amplification of Bruno's flamboyance, his homoerotic attraction to Guy and his psychotic personality" for the Preview Version. Admittedly, the changes are quite subtle and present day viewers will have to interpret certain things for themselves.
The second important extension can be seen when Guy goes to the Anthonys' house. It seems, for example because of the shot of the blueprints of the house, that Guy really goes through with the murder (as it happened in the novel by Patricia Highsmith!) and there is more suspence until the happenings are explained.
There are also many small stramlining cuts in the Original Version, especially during the showdown. This means that the Preview Version does not really offer anything valuable here, but it becomes obvious how the pacing was adapted during the final cut.

The Preview Version also lacks the final scene when Guy is being recognized by another man inside the train and changes the compartment.
It is said, however, that Hitchcock was not really content with any of the two final scenes and would have rather had a final fade to black after the finale in the amusement park or, to be more exact, after Guy says that Bruno is a "very clever fellow". Warner Bros. insisted on a longer ending and extensions were necessary. If the names of the both versions can be believed, the Preview Version was Hitchcock's first finished cut version but that he eventually liked the Original Version's alternative better.

All in all, the differences between the two versions are very small, but not insignificant and it is nice, that both are included on newer releases (although the Preview Version can only be found in SD on the Blu-ray).



Running time designations are formatted like this
Original Version Blu-ray / Preview Version Blu-ray
Credits

The addition to Farley Granger's credit is missing and there is also another alteration later.



Original VersionPreview Version




03:05 / 03:05-03:07

Two shots are a bit longer at the end/beginning after Bruno promised Guy silence so he could read.

2,5 sec




Alternative Footage / Additional Footage in the Original Version
04:06-04:10 / 04:08-04:16

Bruno talks a bit longer. The parts in bracket can be heard in both version, the parts in bold are exclusive in the Preview Version, whereas the parts in italics can be heard in an alternative take.

"(Yes, I am. Ask me anything) from today's sports news or stock report to Li'l Abner, I got the answer. Even news about peopIe that I don't know."

Preview-Fassung 3,9 sec longer

Original VersionPreview Version




Alternative Footage / Additional Footage in the Original Version
04:28-04:32 / 04:35-04:40

The Preview Version stays with Bruno, the Orignial Version cuts to Guy in between. The dialog is the same, but the pauses between the sentences are a bit longer in the Preview Version.

Preview Version 1,6 sec longer

Original VersionPreview Version




05:49 / 05:57-06:19

The both also order something to eat, although Guy has to be told to do so several times by Bruno. This sequence is often used as an example for the stronger homoerotic subcontext in this version, but this is probably seen less drastic nowadays.

Bruno: "Waiter! Bring me some lamb chops, French fries and chocolate ice cream."
Kellner: "Yes, sir."
Bruno: "Compartment B, car 121."
The waiter wants to leave, Bruno holds him back: "And, waiter..."
He turns around again: "Yes, sir?"
Bruno: "Guy, what'll you have?"
Guy: "Thanks, just the same..."
Bruno: "Go on, go on, order."
Guy: "Well, I'll just have a hamburger and a cup of coffee."

21,5 sec




07:55 / 08:24-08:28

Guy tries to interrupt Bruno a first time and Bruno makes another remark about Guy's woman.

Guy: "Let's not talk about it anymore."
Bruno: "A woman like that can sure make a lot of trouble for you..."

3,9 sec




08:19 / 08:52-09:06

Bruno reacts earlier after Guy said that murder is illegal. He tries to make it seem better to Guy by mentioning his wife's male acquaintances.

Bruno: "My theory is that everybody is a potential murderer. Didn't you ever feel like you wanted to kill somebody? Let's say, one of those useless fellas that Miriam was playing around with?"
Guy thinks about it a moment but does not change his mind: "You can't go around killing people just because you think they're useless."

14,1 sec




10:28 / 11:16-11:18

The transition between two shots of the train arriving is insignificantly longer.

2,1 sec




63:50 / 64:40-64:45

Guy can be seen walking around in the room a bit longer before he answers the phone.

Preview Version 4,8 sec longer

Original VersionPreview Version




64:35 / 65:30

The transition to the next shot starts a bit earlier (less than a second).

Preview Version 0,7 sec longer

Original VersionPreview Version




Alternative Footage / Additional Footage in the Original Version
64:51-64:55 / 65:46-66:33

Guy can be seen going to Bruno's house ina different way.

In the Original Version only the detective walking around is shown before Guy can be seen on the emergency stairs.


The Preview Version, however, shows another shot of the detective, then guy goes to his desk and takes the note on which Bruno has drawn the layout of the house. He then sneaks to the exit.


Preview Version 43 sec longer



Alternative Footage / Additional Footage in the Original Version
65:00-65:04 / 66:38-67:05

The Original Version fades over to Guy on the Anthonys' lawn quite quickly.


The Preview Version shows him climbing over the fence and then hiding from the detective before going. He is then also seen on the lawn, but the shot starts earlier here.


Preview Version 22,4 sec longer



65:11 / 67:12-67:13

Guy goes to the door a bit longer.

1,5 sec




Additional Footage in the Original Version
73:13-73:15 / 75:15

The Original Version shows a close-up of the lighter when Bruno talks to Anne.

+ 2,6 sec




88:51 / 90:51-90:58

The Preview Version shows an additional shot of Guy in the train first and then cuts to Bruno at the fair.

7 sec




89:05 / 91:12-91:13

The next shot of Guy in the train starts a bit earlier in the Preview Version.

0,9 sec


89:25 / 91:32-91:33

A shot of Bruno starts a bit earlier.

1,4 sec


89:55 / 92:03-92:04

Two shots of Bruno are a bit longer at the end/beginning.

0,8 sec


89:56 / 92:05-92:06

Again Bruno a few frames longer.

0,4 sec


90:00 / 92:10

The transition to Guy in the train happens a tiny bit later.

0,4 sec


90:10 / 92:20-92:21

Guy minimally longer.

1 sec


90:11 / 92:22-92:24

Bruno a bit longer and the following close-up of him starts a bit earlier as well.

2,5 sec


90:12 / 92:25-92:27

The transition to the next shot was shortened a bit as well.

1,2 sec


90:17 / 92:32-92:33

The fade over starts a bit later, Bruno looks up before.

1 sec




Alternative Footage / Additional Footage in the Original Version
90:50-90:53 / 93:06-93:09

Bruno insignificantly longer again.
The shot of the carousel is an alternative one in the Preview Version, showing a bit more of it.

Preview Version 0,5 sec longer

Original VersionPreview Version




91:47 / 94:03-94:04

Two shots are insignificantly longer at the end/beginning.

0,7 sec


91:54 / 94:11

The car comes driving from a bit further away.

0,6 sec


92:00 / 94:18

Some more frames no one will miss.Und wieder ein paar Frames, die keiner vermisst.

0,5 sec


92:18 / 94:36-94:38

Ditto: Bruno in the queue a bit earlier.

1,5 sec


92:40 / 95:00-95:04

And again.

4,1 sec


92:43 / 95:07-95:09

Bruno a bit earlier yet another time.

1,9 sec


93:12 / 95:38

Again more of Bruno, this time the shot is longer at the end.

0,6 sec


99:44 / 102:10-102:12

After the fade over, the shot of Anne waiting for a call starts earlier.

2 sec



Alternative Footage / Additional Footage in the Original Version
100:13-100:49 / 102:41-102:57

The Original Version directly fades to the last scene in the train with Anne and Guy after the relieving call. Then another passengern recognizes Guy and asks him whether he was Guy Hanes. Guy and Anne look at each other sceptically and then change the compartment. The man is a bit confused but then looks at his newspaper again and the final overlay can be seen.


The Preview Version sticks with Anne longer and she adds that Guy should bring something: "He says he looks silly in his tennis clothes."
Then there is a fade to black and the overlay can be seen here as well.


Original Version 19,7 sec longer
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