Cinephiles take notice – the Hamptons International Film Festival (HIFF) will host its annual Winter Classic on Saturday, February 24. Screening at Guild Hall in East Hampton, this year’s presentation will feature Alfred Hitchcock’s iconic 1951 thriller Strangers on a Train, and as per usual, HIFF’s Co-Chair Alec Baldwin and Artistic Director David Nugent will discuss the featured film after the screening.
“Thinking of Hitchcock, there’s so many to choose from,” Nugent told us. “We did one other Hitchcock during this time, Vertigo, a couple years ago. Right after it had been named one of the greatest films of all time by Sight & Sound – that comes out every decade.” While the film initially received mixed reviews, it edged out Citizen Kane (1941) as the best film ever made according to the British Film Institute’s critics’ poll in 2012.
The film – which is based on the 1950 novel of the same name by Patricia Highsmith – follows two strangers, Guy Haines (Farley Granger) and Bruno Anthony (Robert Walker), who randomly meet on a train. They start to chat and after realizing they both have people in their life they’d like to “get rid of,” the duo come up with a villainous plan to solve each other’s problems. Bruno Anthony was one of Walker’s final roles, and one he landed shortly after being released from a psychiatric hospital.
“We thought it might be fun to take a look at what a lot of film critics think is the greatest film of all time. If you’re going to do classic cinema, it’s hard to not spend some time with Hitchcock,” Nugent added. “So, once in nine years was great, but I think it’s time to do another one. I think people know Vertigo and the know The Birds and Real Wind – and those are all great films, but I don’t think as many people have seen Strangers on a Train and it’s a really great thriller.”
Tickets are $25 for general admission and $23 for Guild Hall and HIFF members.
Guild Hall is located at 158 Main Street in East Hampton. For more information, call 631-324-0806 or visit www.guildhall.org.