In 1951, Alfred Hitchcock made a superb film called Strangers on a Train. It had a screenplay by Raymond Chandler from a novel by Patricia Highsmith. A superb cast headed by Farley Granger, Robert Walker, Ruth Roman and Leo G Carroll revelled in the Hitchcock brand of filmmaking.
Warner Bros. utilised their 21-year contract rights and remade it here on the cheap with Frank Tarloff taking over Chandler’s job and Robert Sparr given the job of doing a “Hitchcock” (in his last directing project). Neither was equal to the task.
Psychiatrist Dr Haggis (Whit Bissell) is treating crazed bikini beauty Diana Granger (Carol Lynley) who has psychotic tendencies.
When she overhears him planning to have her returned to another institution she wants him dead, recruiting drunken pro golfer Jerry Marshall (Paul Burke).
Diana knows that Jerry hates his (superior) rival Mike Wilson (Philip Carey) and makes a pact with him to kill each other’s target. He doesn’t take her seriously until she kills Wilson with Jerry’s golf club. Now, she expects him to kill her doctor.
It’s a terrible, pointless remake that is painful to watch.
Director Robert Sparr died in a plane crash on 28 August 1969 while scouting locations for Barquero (1970) and Once You Kiss A Stranger was released posthumously.
Peter Lind Hayes
Lt. Tom Gavin
Dr David Haggis