Strangers on a Train

Ben Affleck in Gone Girl

Criss-cross! If you thought Gone Girl was Hitchcockian, wait till you see what the gang is up to next. According to Deadline, David Fincher will re-team with writer Gillian Flynn and actor Ben Affleck for a fresh, much-altered remake of Strangers on a Train. The 1951 classic, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, is about two men who meet and arrange a murder swap, although one of them wasn’t actually being serious about the idea. It was sort of already redone as the underrated 1987 comedy Throw Mama From the Train, directed by Danny De Vito. This next version, like the original to be an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith‘s novel, will change things up almost as much. Instead of a famous tennis pro, Ben Affleck is filling the Farley Granger part as a movie star at the height of his career (with Oscar buzz!), who meets a stranger on a plane — or at least meets a stranger than accept a ride from him on his private plane. The question is, will the title now be Strangers on a Plane (or Strangers Who Meet and Then Share a Ride in a Private Plane Owned by One of Them)? You can’t really keep the original title if there are no trains in the movie, right? Also, will it end at an amusement park with a big stunt involving a carousel? Will it feature the famous balloon popping by whoever plays the other guy? Who will play the other guy? Can it be Neil Patrick Harris? […]

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Throw Momma from the Train (1987) The night was humid. Synopsis Larry is a neurotic writer who hates his ex-wife for stealing his book and the fortune and fame that subsequently followed. Owen is a simpleton momma’s boy who takes Larry’s creative writing class and who hates his momma for being old and curmudgeonly. For separate reasons, neither one of them is able to write a good story: Larry, bitter and distracted, has writer’s block and Owen, simple and naive, just has no concept on how to write well. To help out his student’s pathetic attempt at a murder mystery, Larry offers a simple piece of advice – eliminate the motive – that Owen unfortunately interprets to mean if he murders Larry’s ex-wife, Larry will return the favor by murdering his momma.

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Every week in October, Criterion Files will be bringing you a horror movie from the archives of classic cinema or the hallways of the arthouse. This week’s entry takes a look at Alfred Hitchcock’s Hollywood debut, Rebecca (1940). While some would argue (and by “some” I mean Cole Abaius) that Hitchcock only made two films that could uncontestably be identified as horror – Psycho (1960) and The Birds (1963) – Rebecca is an interesting point of inception for themes covered throughout the auteur’s American career and is a film that engages in literary forms of the horror genre. Especially when seen as a ghost story.

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published: 01.25.2015
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published: 01.25.2015
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published: 01.25.2015
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published: 01.24.2015
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