The Stranger

  • 1946
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Thriller, War

After having made three commercial disasters in a row (THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS; JOURNEY INTO FEAR; and IT'S ALL TRUE), Orson Welles was badly in need of a hit that would right him in the eyes of Hollywood. The result was THE STRANGER, the most restrained and conventional of Welles's films, but still a thrilling entertainment. Set shortly after WWII, the...read more

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After having made three commercial disasters in a row (THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS; JOURNEY INTO FEAR; and IT'S ALL TRUE), Orson Welles was badly in need of a hit that would right him in the eyes of Hollywood. The result was THE STRANGER, the most restrained and conventional of Welles's

films, but still a thrilling entertainment. Set shortly after WWII, the film casts Edward G. Robinson as Wilson, a Nazi hunter assigned the task of finding the infamous Franz Kindler, one of the architects of the genocide of the Jews. Wilson traces Kindler to the sleepy college town of Hartford,

Connecticut, where he comes to suspect that Prof. Charles Rankin (Welles) is actually Kindler hiding behind a new identity. Although Rankin does a fine job of casting doubt on Wilson's suspicions, the latter's dogged pursuit of the truth wins out and Kindler is exposed. In THE STRANGER, Welles

gives us one of the cinema's most realistic and chilling portrayals of a Nazi. His Franz Kindler is not a cartoon character in uniform spouting propaganda and clicking his heels, but an arrogant, cynical, amoral, and wholly self-confident creature who believes that he is superior to anyone he

meets--evil incarnate. Robinson is also quite good as the hunter determined to catch his prey. Technically, as one expects with Welles, the film is superb. THE STRANGER is not as wildly creative as his other films, but all the Welles trademarks are present, including superior lighting, inventive

camera angles, strong transitions, and characters silhouetted in darkness.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: After having made three commercial disasters in a row (THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS; JOURNEY INTO FEAR; and IT'S ALL TRUE), Orson Welles was badly in need of a hit that would right him in the eyes of Hollywood. The result was THE STRANGER, the most restrained… (more)

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