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The Stranger

A movie directed by Orson Welles

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One of Welles's greatest suspense thrillers

  • Aug 25, 2010
Rating:
+5

Orson Welles’ 1946 film-noir “The Stranger” is one of Welles’s greatest works. Besides directing, he co-stared in this great suspense thriller.  This movie has a top notch cast, especially with Edward G. Robinson and Loretta Young.  “The Stranger” was the only film made by Welles to have been a bona fide box office success on its first release (Citizen Kane had made back its budget and marketing, but not enough to make a profit). It earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay.
 
"Prior to the production of The Stranger, Welles had shown an interest in the nature of Fascism and, especially, the documentary footage of the liberation of the concentration camps; writing in his column for The New York Post, Welles stated that this documentary footage 'must be seen' as an index of the 'putrefaction of the soul, a perfect spiritual garbage' associated with what 'we have been calling […] Fascism. The stench is unendurable'’
 
Plot Summary:

In 1946, Mr. Wilson (Edward G. Robinson) of the War Crimes Commissionis hunting for Nazi fugitive Franz Kindler (Orson Welles), who has effectively concealed all evidence which might positively identify him. He has secretly assumed a new identity, Charles Rankin  a professor in a respectable Connecticut town he marries Mary Longstreet (Loretta Young), the daughter of a U.S. Supreme Court justice.
Wilsonreleases Kindler's former associate Meinike (Konstantin Shayne), hoping the man will lead him to Kindler. Wilson follows Meinike to the town of Harper, Connecticut, but loses him before he meets with Rankin. When Rankin and Meinike do meet, Rankin realizes that his secret is threatened by Meinike's presence and strangles him and buries his body in the forest.

Eventually, Wilson deduces that Rankin is Kindler, but without having witnessed the meeting with Meinike, he has no proof. Mrs. Rankin is the only person who knows that Meinike had come to meet with her husband. To get her to admit what she knows, Wilson must convince her that her husband is a war criminal — before Rankin decides to do her in to eliminate the last remaining threat to him.

One of the great lines delivered by Welles in the movie: “Murder can be a chain, Mary, one link leading to another until it circles your neck.”
 

One of Welles's greatest suspense thrillers One of Welles's greatest suspense thrillers One of Welles's greatest suspense thrillers

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August 26, 2010
Had this been delayed in coming out on video? Somehow I recall that. Thanks for reminding us of this film, one of those I've "been meaning" to get around to one day.
August 26, 2010
Not sure, I have seen it on AMC. You will enjoy Welles as a villian.
 
August 25, 2010
Wow! I had never even heard of this film! Oddly enough I was watching "Citizen Kane" just last night. "The Stranger" sounds like a very intriguing film and your review has whetted my appetite. Wonder if the local library has this one.
August 26, 2010
Thank you, I like this film allot, Welles is a great villian. A good suspense film for the era
August 26, 2010
By the way, check out the new badge for war films that you can earn.
 
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More The Stranger reviews
review by . March 20, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
THE STRANGER Proves Orson Welles Is No Stranger To Great Cinema
   As many can claim, my first encounter with Orson Welles’ greatness was CITIZEN KANE.  I’d seen it on television when I was very young, and I was immediately smitten not so much with the story (I could go on for hours about precisely who I think the story is genuinely about instead of Charles Foster Kane) but more so with the use of the camera.  After all, KANE is one of the first motion pictures to make vast use of the camera as a device on the set, be it positioned …
Quick Tip by . August 29, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Caption
Orson Welles’ 1946 film-noir “The Stranger” is one of Welles’s greatest works. Besides directing, he co-stared in this great suspense thriller.  This movie has a top notch cast, especially with Edward G. Robinson and Loretta Young.  “The Stranger” was the only film made by Welles to have been a bona fide box office success on its first release (Citizen Kane had made back its budget and marketing, but not enough to make a profit). It earned an Academy …
review by . June 14, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: Edgar G. Robinson, Billy House      Cons: Orson Welles and Loretta Young and an untenable story      The Bottom Line: Dreadful. If you like Edward G. Robinson, then this is worth considering, otherwise there is no reason at all to waste your time.      Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot.      I am a semi-fan of film noir. The angular style of it built on as many shadows …
About the reviewer
Michael Neulander ()
Ranked #44
Recently graduated with a Masters in Humanities degree from Old Dominion University reading in philosophy and history. I graduated from the Univ. of Miami in 1980 with a B.A. in Political Science; specializing … more
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Wiki

THE STRANGER: Orson Welles directed and starred in THE STRANGER, a tense black-and-white thriller that Welles made for maverick producer Sam Spiegel. Welles portrays Charles Rankin, a respected academic at a prominent Connecticut college. He seems to have the perfect life: a beautiful new wife, Mary (Loretta Young); and a charming home in a small town that holds him in high esteem. Enter Mr. Wilson (Edward G. Robinson), a detective on the hunt for Nazi war criminal Franz Kindler. The appearance of Mr. Wilson threatens to reveal that underneath this idyllic veneer is a secret that could tear everything apart. <br> <br> Although many of Welles's most interesting scenes wound up on the cutting-room floor when Spiegel reedited the film, THE STRANGER is still multilayered, complex, and fascinating. The scenes between Welles and Robinson are intellectually gripping, leading up to the stylized, shocking conclusion. As with so many of Welles's films, he was unhappy with the final result, but the viewer won't be...
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Details

Director: Orson Welles
Genre: Action, Adventure
Release Date: January 1, 1946
Screen Writer: Orson Welles, John Huston
Runtime: 1hr 35min, 1hr 38min
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