Mastroianni plays the existential Meursault, a French clerk living in Algiers who one day, for no other reason than the bright sunshine, shoots and kills a young Algerian. He is brought to trial, where he is forced to answer questions about an affair he had shortly after the death of his mother and his failure to cry at his mother's funeral. While awaiting the guillotine, Mastroianni refuses to be swayed by the prison priest's beliefs and chooses instead to think about life and existence. As is often the case when a great filmmaker brings the work of a great novelist to the screen, THE STRANGER is an utter failure, in terms of Camus. Director-writer Visconti fails to come close to Camus' style and seems unsure of his own, as if he chose to make the film in the hopes of producing a failure. All that can be said in the movie's favor lies in its stupendous technical achievements and the fine performances of Mastroianni (who somehow seems perfect as Meursault) and Karina.